Programmatic TV technology provider clypd has raised a $19.4 million Series B round to expand all departments in the business, and enter new markets in Europe and Asia-Pacific. With the new round, clypd has raised approximately $30 million.
European broadcaster RTL Group led the round, with participation from prior investors. RTL has become a very active investor in U.S. online video and technology companies, buying a 51% stake in multichannel network BroadbandTV for $36 million in June, 2013, a 65% stake in programmatic video ad platform SpotXchange for $144 million in July, 2014 and acquiring fashion and beauty MCN StyleHaul for $107 million in November, 2014.
While all of those deals focused on online video and related advertising, the clypd investment takes RTL into the still nascent field of programmatic TV. As Doug Hurd, EVP of Business Development and co-founder of clypd told me, the company is singularly focused on enabling broadcast and cable TV networks, plus pay-TV operators with programmatic technology that can be used in conjunction with traditional direct sales efforts for linear TV ad yield optimization.
That's a mouthful, but what it boils down to, for now at least, is helping these companies better monetize their TV inventory by automating certain back-end functions and infusing more data in audience targeting. clypd has deals with Cox, Discovery, Univision and others. Doug said some companies are using clypd to create private marketplaces while others are using it for public marketplaces. In both cases, the goal is to tap into incremental programmatic ad demand.
There are key differences between programmatic TV and programmatic video advertising today. Programmatic video advertising has multiple data providers, which help advertisers and content providers target at the user level, with analytics to support engagement. Conversely, for now programmatic TV advertising has limited data providers (e.g. Nielsen, Rentrak, etc.) and can only be targeted at the household level.
However, as TV and video buying converge, more TV-type programming flows through the Internet and mobile, and ad buyers demand ever greater targeting, programmatic TV looks poised to grow in importance.