Tuesday, October 24, 2017, 11:24 AM ET|Posted by Will Richmond
It’s a good day for video tech providers with Israeli roots as Wibbitz has announced a $20 million Series C funding and Connatix has raised a $15 million Series A round. The Wibbitz round was led by Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, with participation from The Weather Channel, The Associated Press, TF1 and existing investors NantMobile, lool Ventures and Horizons Ventures and brings total funding to $30.8 million. The Connatix round was led by Volition Capital.
While the companies have different value propositions, they’re both playing to the broader industry trends of enabling publishers to enrich their properties with more video, which creates more opportunities for video advertising.
Wibbitz uses its natural language processing to turn publishers’ text articles into short-form, customized videos at scale. The videos include voice-over narration, soundtracks and use stock or publishers’ own images and graphics. Because videos can be created so quickly, they’re valuable in breaking news stories. They’re also valuable for publishers to enhance their social feeds beyond text.
Wibbitz said that it works with over 400 publishers, including CBSi, Forbes, Reuters, Time and others and that it expects 400% year-over-year revenue growth. The company has 60 employees across NYC, Tel Aviv and Paris offices. Wibbitz said it will use the new funding for hiring across all groups and to further develop artificial intelligence and automation technologies for better video experiences.
Meanwhile Connatix positions itself as a native video syndication and monetization platform for publishers. The company helps publishers extend their reach by integrating videos into site’s desktop and mobile pages retaining the underlying look and feel.
Connatix provides a native player, ad server, CMS and control panel/analytics. Video is syndicated, along with ads in these native players to sites via private exchanges. Connatix is #2 in comScore’s Video Metrix for audience reach, and says it serves over 3 billion video views per month. The company names Mashable, Time, Billboard and Entrepreneur as publishers it’s working with.
(Note: If you’re interested in the Israeli video tech scene, check out the Video Trends 2018 conference on Tuesday, December 12th in Tel Aviv. I’ll be attending and moderating a session. Use code VideoNuze when registering, to save over 20% on tickets.)