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Brian Lesser. Photo: Rich Polk/Getty Images for Xandr

InfoSum, a marketing data company, announced Tuesday the completion of its Series A funding round of $15.1 million to accelerate the company's expansion across North America and Europe.

Driving the news: With the announcement, it also named Brian Lesser, the former CEO of AT&T's advertising unit Xandr, to lead the company as executive chairman.

Why it matters: Lesser's abrupt departure from Xandr in March left many in the advertising industry confused about the future of AT&T's ad business.

  • The company never commented on Lesser's departure. But a new press release from InfoSum announcing the raise says that Xandr uses InfoSum, so the relationship is presumably cordial.
  • Xandr's chief business officer and interim head Kirk McDonald left the company last week to become the CEO of North America for WPP's ad-buying unit GroupM.

Details: The InfoSum round is being led by Upfront Ventures and IA Ventures and supported by strategic partners Ascential, Akamai, Experian, ITV and AT&T’s Xandr. All use InfoSum.

  • InfoSum allows different companies to share their own first-party data, without either party having to give the data over to a third-party to manage it, which poses privacy and security risks.
  • "The system by which two data rich companies learn from each other and collaborate is archaic," Lesser told Axios in an interview.
  • Frequently, companies need to share their data with other companies in order to help enrich their data. For example, a retail company may have credit card data about a person, and a social media company may have purchase intent data about a person.
  • InfoSum helps to combine those data sets without either party having to hand over their proprietary data to a third-party vendor.

Go deeper: CEO of AT&T's ad unit resigns

Go deeper

Updated 7 hours ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.