• Video Ad Platform Teads Raises $30 Million to Fuel Growth

    Video ad platform Teads has raised $30 million, half of which is an equity investment from existing investors Gimv, Partech, Elaia and BPI, with the other half in a mid-term line of credit from Bank of China, HSBC, BNPP and BPI. The new funds are intended to accelerate technology development and expand in the U.S. plus new areas including Brazil, Russia, South Korea and Japan.

    Teads is a supply side platform, which counts among its customers The Washington Post, Reuters, Forbes, The Telegraph, The Guardian and many others. Advertisers that have used Teads include AT&T, Cartier, Gucci, Microsoft, Nestle, P&G, Samsung and Volkswagen, among others.

    Teads' big differentiator is that its InRead video ad units run against publishers' non-video inventory, including text pages, slide shows and news feeds. This allows publishers that don't have a lot of video inventory to create a huge amount of video-ready ad inventory from web pages, and thus tap into video ad budgets that have far higher CPMs than traditional display or rich media ads.

    In my original post on Teads, I observed that this is also a huge win because creating high-quality video is extremely expensive and not a core competency for most online publishers. Even when they do create original video, a further challenge is to drive viewership.

    Teads has also pioneered new approaches to politely integrating its video ads, enhancing the user experience. For example, with InRead, the video and audio only begin to play when at least 50% of the ad is visible. If the user scrolls past the ad, it automatically pauses, and will resume only if the user scrolls up again. Teads also works well in the context of ongoing industry issues around viewability, with the company able to guarantee that the video ad is viewable on the user's screen.

    Teads said its 2014 revenue grew 65% to $95.6 million and now has 350 employees in 25 offices around the world. It plans to hire another 180 employees in 2015.