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This AI-Enabled StartUp Is Helping Businesses Tackle Digital Fraud Com Olho uses proprietary technology to detect behavioural anomalies in high dimensional datasets

By John Stanly

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Can you recall the last time you got a quality lead by running an ad campaign? Or are you also drowning in the "lots of impressions and no clicks' boat? Even when you are running cost per action or cost per purchase campaigns, a lot of this traffic is being driven by stalking digital devices through adware injected, installed, or pre-burned on devices. Affirmation that an advertiser's ads are seen and delivered in safe environments aligned with their media plan is table stakes, hence verification is no longer a competitive advantage but a necessity. Protecting spends from invalid or manipulated traffic directly impacts Return On Ad Spends (ROAS) and the effectiveness of media dollars.

Ad fraud in the simplest of terms means money that an advertiser is losing to non-human traffic or traffic which is acquired on compromised media that is stalking a person's privacy and leading to manipulation of digital footprints attribution. Digital provides an opportunity for advertisers to reach the remotest part of the world, but a lack of awareness and necessary tools make marketers burn advertising dollars to advertising fraud.

The pandemic in 2020 was the tipping point for mobile transformation. Millions of people, advertisers, and enterprises turned to digital channels for shopping, working, and entertainment. According to Lloyd Mathias, Co-Founder, Com Olho,"This big online shift proved an ideal opportunity for fraudsters on the lookout for new targets impacting marketing campaigns by exhausting advertising money and resources on fake users who pose zero value, or made money on behalf of consumer privacy."

Data shows that more than 48 percent of companies in India have seen a rise in fraud amid the pandemic. Despite this growing risk of fraud, 43 percent of Indian businesses indicate that they're placing additional emphasis on revenue generation instead of fraud detection, which can lead to a rise in losses and a decline in customer confidence and brand equity. Considering that 61 percent of consumers in India cite online privacy as an important concern, businesses should take robust actions to safeguard themselves and their customers against potential digital risks.

With companies doubling their digital advertising spends amid Covid-19, ad frauds are projected to go up in the range of 45-55 percent compared to the present industry average of 25-35 percent. Even in times like these, fraudsters have left no stone unturned when it comes to stealing advertiser's money.

Mobile advertising spending amounted to US $234 billion in 2020, out of which US $42 billion were lost to ad fraud worldwide. The size of the global digital advertising market is estimated to rise to $347 billion in 2023, which would put ad fraud at more than 10 percent of the total. The state of mobile ad fraud in APAC is alarming. In 2020, US $952 million has been exposed to app install fraud in APAC in H1 alone. By 2022 every fourth app installed in 10 app installs are expected to be fraudulent.

Such big numbers should be worrying because this is not just money that advertisers are losing to non-human traffic or hijacked traffic but also money that is going into the wrong hands and will be used for wrongdoings such as money laundering. In fact, ad fraud is considered as the second largest organised crime of the world after drug trafficking. Hence it becomes extremely important to detect and prevent ad fraud.

Com Olhois a Cyber Security as a Service Platform (Cy-aaS) with in-build real time API's, that is focused on detecting and preventing ad fraud independently through AI based technology intervention. It is the only company to be granted a patent for a system and method to detect advertising fraud by the Indian Patent Office and has a published application with the US Patent Office. The company also has patents applied for digital governance and the detection of synthetic identities.

According to Abhinav Bangia, Founder & Director of Technology at Com Olho, "We are on a mission on securing a billion digital devices by end of 2025 by cleansing the bad actors in the supply chain, stopping bad payments at the advertisers level, and give more interface to the consumer about malicious apps that their digital devices might possess using state of the art patented technology".

Com Olhomakes it easy for CXO's to understand their consumers using behaviour analytics, machine learning and data science and helps them qualitatively audit their performance-based mobile media spends and digital brand presence. Recently Com Olho became a part of Haryana's Hartron Electronic Accelerator Programme (HEAP), which is a flagship accelerator program by Haryana State Electronics Development Corporation Limited, Hartron. The company is also a recognised startup by Startup India, DPIIT, government of India.

According to Sunu Nair, Chief of Staff at Yaari, a social commerce start-up from the Indiabulls Group, "Com Olho is an enterprise being built for the era of high dimensional data. I have seen them grow closely & they are one such partner who adds real value to your bottomline."

John Stanly

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