Today telecoms firm Bharti Airtel which boasts 350 million mobile subscribers, announced a strategic investment in blockchain startup Aqilliz. The adtech was a spinoff of public blockchain Zilliqa, and started with an ad tracking solution.
With Google’s plans to remove cookies from the Chrome web browser, Aqilliz developed a federated learning solution that uses both permissioned and public blockchain to enable advertisers and publishers to share data in a privacy-preserving manner. Airtel intends to use it.
Google’s planned update could have a massive impact if Apple’s recent App Tracking Transparency IOS change is anything to go by. As of September 2021, globally, just 21% of users now allow IOS tracking, falling to 15% in the United States, according to Flurry. Facebook reckons Apple’s change will cost it $10 billion in revenue this year.
“The future of the digital economy is already pivoting to managing value exchanges between brands, platforms and the consumer,” said Gowthaman Ragothaman, Aqilliz Founding CEO. “Aqilliz’s patented technology will enable Airtel to capture and carry this value exchange in the form of consent and provenance across the digital supply chain.”
Airtel plans to roll out Aqilliz’s solutions across its advertising (Airtel Ads), entertainment (Wynk Music & Airtel Xstream) and marketplace (Airtel Thanks App) offerings.
Apart from its massive user base, Airtel also has more than a million business partners. The investment was made as part of Airtel’s accelerator.
“Blockchain technology is maturing and we see its application across areas such as Adtech, Creator Economy, and Loyalty Programs,” said Adarsh Nair, CEO Airtel Digital. “We are thrilled to have Aqilliz join our Startup Accelerator Program and be part of Airtel’s digital innovation factory.”
Aqilliz has previously partnered with several big names. PepsiCo, and foodpanda have used its advertising technology, and its loyalty solution has been trialed by Singapore telecoms firm MyRepublic.