Ad-tech startup VideoAmp raises $275M to help marketers measure TV and OTT ads; reaches “unicorn” status at a $1.4 billion valuation
With video platforms like YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, TV viewership has dropped by a significant margin over the past decade. Millennials and teens now spend more time watching videos from their mobile devices instead of traditional TVs.
As the consumer video viewership landscape continues to fragment and the need for an infrastructure that unifies linear TV, streaming and digital media audiences intensifies, one ad-tech startup is on a mission to help advertisers, agencies, and media owners create audience segments for targeting TV and (over-the-top) ads and see if ads resulted in sales.
Enter VideoAmp, a Los Angeles-based measurement software company creating a data-driven advertising ecosystem that’s redefining how media is valued, bought, and sold. VideoAmp’s platform provides measurement and optimization tools that unify audiences across the disparate systems of traditional TV, streaming video, and digital media. Its software helps clients create audience segments for targeting TV and (over-the-top) ads and see if ads resulted in sales.
Today, VideoAmp announced it has raised $275 million in Series F funding to fully fund an accelerated roll-out of its platform use as a media currency. The round was led by Spruce House Partnership, with participation from other investors including D1 Capital Partners, Tiger Global, EPIQ Capital Group, and Ankona Capital Partners.
The round, which brings the company’s total funding to $456.6 million, now values the 7-year-old startup a valuation of $1.4 billion and also makes it a new member of the highly coveted unicorn club. The announcement comes just five months after the 7-year-old Los Angeles-based startup raised $75 million in committed financing from Capital IP.
Founded in 2014 by CEO Ross McCray and Dave Gullo, VideoAmp is transforming the 100-year old industry by powering a more effective three-way value exchange that results in advertisers increasing their return on investment, publishers increasing their revenues, and improving the viewing experience for consumers. VideoAmp’s software is used by agencies and networks like GroupM and A+E Networks use to match first-party information (like email and sale logs) with ad exposure data.
VideoAmp’s platform unifies audiences across traditional TV, streaming video, and digital media with the ability to connect media exposures to an advertiser’s sales. The world’s largest advertisers, agencies, and media sellers are aligning on VideoAmp as a media currency to transact against that results in increasing the return on media investment for advertisers, increasing revenue for publishers, and providing a better viewing experience for consumers.
The company is disrupting a $120B U.S. advertising market powered by legacy media measurement and currency systems that have been slow to evolve with the consumer privacy landscape and shift from traditional TV to streaming and digital media. As the industry moves towards a multi-currency marketplace, VideoAmp has positioned itself as a frontrunner and innovator in the space.
“While the ability to consume content on any device at any time is great for the consumer, the legacy media measurement and currency systems powering these services are fragmented, riddled with complexity and inaccurate,” said Ross McCray, Founder and CEO. “These systems are providing an incomplete and siloed view of audiences and creating massive inefficiencies for the industry. We are thrilled to complete this round of fundraising and partner with these world-class investors to properly scale our platform to create a healthier ecosystem for everyone.”
VideoAmp integrates into dozens of the advertising systems of disconnected media platforms to create a privacy-safe and unified view of audiences. Unlike legacy measurement methodologies which are primarily reliant on small surveys, VideoAmp leverages large-scale impression-level data directly from these systems. VideoAmp uses this data and sophisticated data science methodologies to create a source of truth that is a more accurate view of media consumption and engagement. This creates new use cases and unlocks additional value for the advertising industry, such as more accurate media ratings, cross-platform deduplicated audience views, and the ability to connect ad exposures to an advertiser’s sales. Additionally, consumers benefit from the platform’s increased rigor around privacy standards and ability to minimize overly repetitive advertising to consumers across different media platforms.
“After speaking with dozens of brands, agencies, and media outlets who are actively engaged in the VideoAmp ecosystem, it was clear to us that the status quo of media measurement and currency is broken and needs to evolve given the size of the market and the technological capabilities available today,” said Ben Stein, managing partner of Spruce House. “The world-class team that Ross assembled has a generational opportunity to drive the advertising ecosystem towards a more accurate, accountable, and privacy-centric future through their self-service tools and software.”