Brand Affinity Technologies (BAT), the company that creates a technology that matches celebrities with endorsement deals, has just raised $20 million in Series C funding led by Miramar Venture Partners, with existing investors Newport Coast Investments, RimLight Capital, Fulcrum Venture Capital, CGI Opportunity Fund II, and Ad Pepper Media International also participating. This brings the company’s total funding to $26 million. We’ve heard that the pre-money valuation was in the ballpark of $60 to $80 million.
BAT’s technology includes a research engine that matches advertisers with more than 38,000 celebrities for endorsement deal. The company’s proprietary technology will take into account the ambitions of an ad campaign and the particular brand of a celeb and recommend a deal with the appropriate athletes, actors and more.
The company says that the investment will be used to extend BAT’s Endorsement technology into music and other celebrity categories, and international expansion. While BAT’s technology is relatively new, the company is seeing success with its model. While endorsement deals tend to take 6 months from inception to contract signing, BAT says their platform now completes deals in a matter of two weeks.
And the company says that revenues are expected to double this year to $30 million. BAT’s main revenue stream comes from a service fee that advertisers pay to use the technology platform. BAT was founded by serial entrepreneurs Ryan and Chad Steelberg, who together founded and operated three successful companies prior to BAT: dMarc (sold to Google in 2006), AdForce (sold to CMGi in 1999), and 2CAN Media (also sold to CMGi in 1999).
Since launching 18 months ago, BAT has matched campaigns for advertisers such as AT&T, Ford, Comcast, Intuit, and Samsung. And more than 3,600 celebrities have signed on to BAT’s Endorsement Platform, including Jorge Posada and Lamar Odom.