Anura co-founder Rich Kahn created its software to combat fraud on his own marketing site. Photo by Cottonbro Studio/Pexels.
A Middletown cybersecurity company providing software that helps digital advertisers weed out bots, malware and human fraud has been named to the Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies for 2023.
It also was named for the second year to The Philadelphia100, a list created by the Philadelphia100 Forum of the region’s fastest growing privately-held companies.
Anura Solutions LLC was ranked No. 1731 on the list created by the magazine Inc., which caters to entrepreneurs.
The company’s software exposes fraud in real-time and is used by 2 million domains and saves its clients $1 billion a year in fraud, according to its website and press releases.
Anura is part of a huge economic sector that many people don’t even realize exists.
“Fraud is projected to cost advertisers $100 billion this year, totaling millions of dollars each day,” said Sherrii Brentari, Anura’s director of marketing.
There aren’t any laws in the U.S. specifically aimed at ad fraud, she said.
“The battle against ad fraud is ongoing, but understanding the laws and the challenges of enforcement is the first step,” she said. “Combining this knowledge with powerful solutions like Anura, marketers can protect their campaigns, budgets and, ultimately, their businesses from the damaging impacts of ad fraud.”
Anura was founded by New York high school sweethearts Beth and Rich Kahn, who now live in Middletown.
Rich, a software developer, wrote the first 150,000 lines of code that created the software to combat the ad fraud that was affecting another of their businesses, a digital marketing firm named eZanga.
Within eZanga they launched an internal ad fraud solution called Traffic Advisors to pre-filter clients’ traffic.
He thought he could come up with a solution that was better than anything on the market at that time to tackle fraud in any environment, Brentari said.
The Kahns realized, after a year or so of testing, that the solution he created stood to be more profitable than the marketing company he originally wrote the code for, so they began transitioning away from eZanga to focus on Anura, she said.
“It’s an honor to be featured in the Inc. 5000 List of Fastest Growing Private Companies for 2023,” said Beth, Anura’s chief financial officer. “We believe our growth is a testament to our amazing team and we are all fully committed to achieving Anura’s vision of eliminating ad fraud and helping our clients grow.”
Household brand names such as Facebook, Chobani, Under Armour, Microsoft and others gained their first national exposure as honorees on the Inc. 5000, the Anura press release said.
Chief executive officer Rich described Anura as a bootstrapped company.
He has been a founding partner on five separate multimillion dollar businesses. eZanga was featured in the Inc. 5000 list five years in a row.
“I enjoy the challenge of starting from scratch,” Rich said. “For the most part, it’s just being very careful with money and being very strategic with the day-to-day operations of the business to ensure growth year over year. Being in the public eye to know who you are and what makes your product or service unique is the most important thing to drive a business.”
Anura is a subscription-based solution and provides subscribers with a robust dashboard to track fraud in real-time.
“We offer extremely resposive customer support and do monthly reports and quarterly reviews with all clients,” Brentari said.
Anura’s main customers are in performance marketing. That refers to a form of digital marketing in which brands only pay after their business objectives have been met or specific actions such as a click, sale or lead occur.
Ultimately, Anura’s software allows advertisers to put more resources towards growing their business because it eliminates false positives by only marking visitors as fraudulent when it is 100% confident the visitor isn’t real.
Anura has continuously optimized its platform over the years by analyzing customer conversion data and hundreds of other data points, its press release said.
The cumulative intelligence built into the platform over almost two decades can easily pinpoint the source of fraud with remarkable accuracy. It offers transparency with a full analytics dashboard to identify bad traffic using a variety of metrics.
The company hopes to widen its customer base and is poised to launch an aggressive marketing partnership program, Brentari said.
The company has 28 employees, which it hopes to add to in the next year, and a satellite office in San Antonio, Texas.
The Kahns moved to Delaware to be closer to Beth’s parents. They have raised four children in Delaware.
Anura is headquartered in Middletown with a satellite office in San Antonio, Texas.
The couple sold Rich’s company, 1st Street, an ISP, in the late 90s.
Shortly thereafter, Rich co-founded Paid for Surf, which reached $1 million in revenue within five months of operation.
The couple also flipped houses and sold real estate under the name Kahnpound Holdings, which they dissolved in October 2022 so they could focus on building Anura.
The Inc. 5000 class of 2023 represents companies that have driven rapid revenue growth while navigating inflationary pressure, the rising costs of capital, and seemingly intractable hiring challenges.
Among this year’s top 500 companies, the average median three-year revenue growth rate ticked up to an astonishing 2,238 percent. In all, this year’s Inc. 5000 companies have added 1,187,266 jobs to the economy over the past three years.