• Innovid Raises $11 Million Series C Round To Expand to New Devices

    Innovid has raised an $11 million series C round from existing investors Sequioa Capital, Genesis Partners and T-Ventures, along with new investor Vintage Investment Partners. With the new round, the company has raised $27.6 million to date. Innovid CEO and co-founder Zvika Netter told me the company experienced a very strong Q3 and Q4 in 2012, contributing to 450% year-over-year growth. The new financing will help the company expand its ad platform beyond online, mobile and tablet to also reach connected TVs, game consoles, VOD and broadcast.

    Innovid's technology platform allows advertisers to integrate interactive elements into their pre-roll video ads, increasingly the likelihood of engagement and improving ROI. As Innovid's iRoll gallery shows, these can include social sharing, links to mini-sites, special offers/commerce, supplementary content, etc. Interactivity is added to the ads easily through the iRoll Studio. Innovid also offers ad serving and advanced analytics that track exactly how users engage with the interactive elements.

    Zvika explained that in expanding to new connected TV platforms, the company needs to solve new UI and technical challenges. For instance, Zvika notes that Roku's minimalist remote control means re-thinking how viewers engage with the elements compared with say, touch interfaces on mobile devices. There are other constraints as well such as not all connected devices supporting commerce. The types of differences make Innovid's move to connected devices very complex.

    Yet Zvika said that for online video ad spending to continue to scale, it's critical that these devices not be silo'd. Rather, they need to be easily incorporated into overall media plans, which means technology providers like Innovid need to figure out how to make ads work in these environments as well. Connected TVs in particular represent a very rich ad opportunity because longer viewing times combined with premium TV-like programming generate lots of sought-after ad inventory.

     
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