Skai: Empowering Brands And Agencies To Manage Enterprise-Level Digital Campaigns Across Walled Garden Media

By Amit Chowdhry • Sep 13, 2023

Skai is a company that empowers leading brands and agencies around the world to manage enterprise-level, omnichannel digital campaigns across all walled garden media. Backed by nearly two decades of innovation, the company supports marketers with insights they can use, data they can trust, and the impact they can measure on the media that matters. The company’s marketing platform includes solutions for retail media, paid search, paid social, and app marketing. Pulse 2.0 interviewed Skai CEO Yoav Izhar-Prato to learn more.

Yoav Izhar-Prato’s Background

Izhar-Prato’s journey with startups started over 20 years ago in the field of Internet, data, and mobile applications. Izhar-Prato said:

“I was at the helm of several startups globally, including the early days of cybersecurity and mobile payment through the explosion of data. With all respect to large corporations, I had roles in and appreciation for—it was the startup world and passion to innovate that I chose to be my way of living, alongside being involved (sometimes deeply involved) in doing good for others.”

Formation Of Skai

How did the idea for Skai come together? Izhar-Prato shared:

“Like any good story, it was a rainy day, a small coffee shop, a problem to solve, and a piece of a napkin to scramble thoughts. My (future) co-founders, Alon Sheafer and Nir Cohen, were struggling in the early 2000s to increase the adoption of an early, home-grown comparison shopping engine they had built. With scale came unavoidable inefficiencies. We began looking for a way to improve the ROI of user acquisition. At the time, search engine advertising was heating up, and we realized we needed a unique technology to help drive efficient online traffic. So, we hacked a tool to do that, and it worked better than expected. We then realized that, with this tool, we could help other companies grow and build their brands on a global basis. After bootstrapping version 1.0, it was Sequoia—early investors in Google, Apple, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and many others—with whom we partnered to make it happen.”

“Kenshoo (‘Humble Win’ in Japanese) was born and what was later to become what it is today, Skai (an acronym which stands for Signals (a Data-AI Company we acquired) + Kenshoo + Actionable Intelligence).”

“Early on in our journey, we established a set of core values that determine what we do and how we do it. These values—innovation, passion, integrity, and humility—have guided us from day one and continue to inspire our work. I hear how much these values resonate with our clients and that they feel a sense of partnership and shared ethos when they work with us.”

“I can speak for my colleagues at Skai when we are really excited about the future. We’re on the cusp of some genuinely transformative developments in digital marketing; the only constant is change. We’re grateful for the support and trust our clients and partners have placed in us, even through turbulent macroeconomic and sociocultural times. We’re committed to delivering value and helping them succeed in this ever-evolving landscape.”

Favorite Memory

What has been your favorite memory working for Skai so far? Izhar-Prato reflected:

“My favorite memory is witnessing the company rallying together during the COVID-19 crisis. It was challenging, but our team’s unity, resilience, and dedication were truly inspiring. They didn’t miss a beat, and we came out of the other side of the pandemic an even stronger company than before, innovating and doing good for others in areas outside of what we each got paid for.”

“It was a ‘core values test’ that I humbly felt we excelled at, and for all the right reasons. It showed me what we are made of and here to do.”

Challenges Faced

What are some of the challenges you face in building the company? Izhar-Prato acknowledged:

“Companies are dreams and visions come true. An idea that becomes a reality. That is not easy to do, and lots must come into place to make it be. Some dreaming, some execution, and a bit of luck on your side are always good to have. Doing this for the third time now; like any company we face, we are facing and will face challenges daily, alongside excellent outcomes.”

“Challenges include hiring the right people that represent and bring the core values we believe in, staying agile and innovative as we grow, and being bullish yet humble no matter what. In the face of changing industry trends, maintaining our unique identity while expanding our market reach is a never-ending mission. Specifically in the digital go-to-market, data-driven, commerce media universe, the rate of change is extraordinary—rapid shifts in consumer behavior, constant market innovations, and dominant platforms and players all swimming in this ocean together. Our ‘secret’ is to embrace these challenges as opportunities for growth and learning.”

Core Products

What are Skai’s core products and features? Izhar-Prato explained:

“Since 2006, we’ve empowered brands to recognize and realize their potential with data, insights, and marketing technology. Skai, as far as we know, is the only complete omnichannel advertising platform that connects the walled gardens, that top-tier retail and D2C media ecosystems where consumer engagement and marketer ROI are equally high, and consumer data privacy is most secure.”

“Our platform includes a suite of data-driven products for marketing insights, planning, and forecasting; omnichannel media activation and optimization; incrementality testing, measurement, and analytics. Even as our channel and publisher count has increased, our mission is the same as it was when we were founded—to empower brands and agencies to make accurate predictions, improve strategic planning, and ultimately drive growth on the most critical customer channels.”

Evolution Of Skai’s Technology

How has Skai’s technology evolved since launching? Izhar-Prato noted:

“From our early days as an automation and bid management solution for paid search to becoming a leading omnichannel platform for top-down insights and decisioning, our growth has required a dual focus on continuous innovation and scalable stability to support the most sophisticated brands and robust marketing programs. As we learned more about what our clients need to maximize the performance of their search engine marketing, we took early bets on building native support for paid search, paid social, app store advertising, and finally—the most exciting and rewarding—retail media. We’ve established key market alliances and support over 100 partnership integrations via APIs and data integrations today.”

“We have long-engineered proprietary AI and own seven patents for the innovation we’ve brought to market. In recent years, our technology focus has included solving for pains of data connectivity, which has become a significant challenge for even top consumer marketers. Even more recently, our tenured experience with AI is allowing us to move quickly toward helping our clients be early adopters and safely leverage the early benefits of its newer generative capabilities.”

Significant Milestones

What have been some of Skai’s most significant milestones? Izhar-Prato cited:

“One of the most significant milestones was our 2021 rebranding from Kenshoo to Skai because it symbolized a new era of growth and innovation for our company and the industry. Kenshoo had been steadily expanding and evolving its solution set well beyond the campaign management and optimization applications and adding data, insights, and measurement offerings to meet our customers’ new and evolving needs. We’ve also experienced tremendous growth, currently generating over $350 billion in annualized revenue for our customers.”

Customer Success Stories

Upon asking Izhar-Prato about customer success stories, he cited:

“We have been blessed with an AMAZING roster of clients that have trusted us over the years, including brands such as L’oreal, Kellogs, Zinus, LG, Vodafone, Walgreens, and agencies such as GroupM, MediaCom, Reprise, Tinuiti, and iProspect. These companies have significantly benefited from our innovative solutions in improving strategic planning and driving growth.

Here are some of our more significant client stories:

461% increase in Amazon Ads ROAS and 57% increase in page traffic for Bondi Sands

280% increase in installs for DraftKings

10% increase in new account openings for Royal Bank of Canada

756% increase in conversions for New York Magazine

600% increase in Facebook leads for Inova


When I asked Izhar-Prato about funding and revenue, he replied:

“While I can’t share the exact revenue figures, we have been profitable and growing for over a decade, constantly innovating, and this is with 500+ people worldwide and cutting-edge technologies in the core.”

“Our clients manage over $8 billion in annualized digital advertising investments through our platform, and Skai generates over $350 billion in annualized revenue for the world’s top brands. Regarding funding, Skai™ is backed by some of the most prominent venture capital firms like Sequoia Capital, Bain Capital Ventures, Arts Alliance, Tenaya Capital, and Qumra Capital.”

Total Addressable Market

What total addressable market (TAM) size is Skai pursuing? Izhar-Prato assessed:

“Skai sits at the cross-section of several major market segments within marketing and advertising technology—activation and automation software, digital media, analytics, and BI tools—each of which is valued in the billions to high hundreds of billions of dollars. This makes for a very interesting and compelling TAM for us to go after as a software platform with subscription-based revenue. The need for a platform like Skai to help brands make better decisions based on the data they possess and against their business goals is increasing by the day, so unsurprisingly, the value of these addressable markets is also expected to increase significantly over the next five years.”

“In addition, there is the lens of unique publisher revenue Skai drives via advertising on walled gardens, which annually totals $337 billion—a massive pie—and that’s only including those publicly releasing their numbers in earnings reports. Programmatic digital advertising is also predicted to grow 50% over the next four years, with walled gardens driving the highest gains. New publishers are making their way into the mix, given social and retail media proliferation, and ad spend tends to be incremental.”

Differentiation From The Competition

What differentiates Skai from its competition? Izhar-Prato affirmed:

“Skai is the only platform that allows marketers to take an omnichannel approach across walled garden media when translating corporate business goals into a Go To Market strategy, plan, and execution. We are the most advanced in this journey and are leading this industry changing the marketing world. Connecting siloed data and campaign execution to serve the omnichannel brand better and consumer is what we do and quite unique in many ways. Our roster of direct, strategic partnerships with the world’s most critical advertising publishers, all accessible within a single platform, is unmatched in the competitive market and includes Google, Amazon Ads, TikTok, Snap, Walmart Connect, Instacart, Roundel, Criteo, CitrusAd, Pinterest, Microsoft, Apple Search Ads, Meta—and many more retailers as well.”

“Another unique differentiator for Skai is the ability to facilitate privacy-safe data connectivity on a custom or off-the-shelf basis, thus creating a rich foundation that fuels and informs advertising, yielding pretty incredible results.”

“What I am most proud of and where most of my passion will be is, as both an employer and partner, our focus on values and human connection being the Skai DNA. We strive not only to provide excellent cutting-edge first-to-market tech solutions but also to empower brands with a human touch, nurturing the creativity, strategy, and vision they need to excel.”

Future Company Goals

What are some of Skai’s future company goals? Izhar-Prato concluded:

“Helping brands reach their full potential is a goal we keep renewing each and every day. This is who we are and why we are here.”

“Execution-wise, we will focus much more on making our clients and partners more intelligent in how they make decisions and help them execute with accountability on recommendations and forecasts generated. This also means going much deeper in Gen AI development, connecting the dots between what’s possible and safe governance for our clients. We’re building a suite of solutions to serve a new persona beyond the hands-on-keyboard practitioner—the marketing executive accountable to the entire media mix. We’re tackling measurement and attribution on retail media, a real pain point. And we aim to keep our clients ahead of the curve in adopting new channels, publishers, or ad types while also helping them filter out the noise of what’s not actually relevant to their business.”

“Agility is everything for us at Skai and the massive business footprint we support. And as we continue to grow, we’ll continue to uphold our core values and commitment to enabling brands to make smarter decisions, improve strategic planning, and drive growth.”