The syndicated video ad management company FreeWheel has announced that it has raised a $12M Series C round led by new investor Foundation Capital and existing investor Battery Ventures (prior funding rounds have not been disclosed). The up round provides continued evidence of fundraising strength in the broadband video sector, coming on top of at least $80M raised by industry companies in Q4 '08 and Q1 '09. Doug Knopper, co-founder/co-CEO gave me some additional background this afternoon.
Funds will be used primarily for building headcount, integrating with broadband video ecosystem partners and continued product development. The company is up to 70 employees, spread between the U.S. (25 total between NYC and Silicon Valley) and China (45, all in development).
Doug echoed what industry CEOs have been telling me for months now - it's a brutal fundraising climate, but the video sector is very hot and companies with real traction are still highly sought-after. Investors recognize the shifts in consumer behavior and ad dollars and think we're still on the front end of these trends. While content investments have cooled, enabling technologies and services are still very attractive. At the NAB Show last week I got a heads up on additional financings to be unveiled soon.
FreeWheel has been very quiet about announcing customers, but Doug says there's plenty in the hopper and some news to come soon. No doubt there is given investors' continued confidence in the company.
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