Video advertising and analytics startup TubeMogul closed a $10 million Series B financing. The round was led by Foundation Capital, with existing investors Trinity Ventures and Knight’s Bridge Capital Partners (where WallStrip and StockTwits founder Howard Lindzon is a partner) also putting in more money. Previously, the company raised $5.4 million. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo is a board member and one of its angel investors.
TubeMogul is best known as an online video analytics service, but it makes its money as a data-driven video ad platform. CEO Brett Wilson projects revenues this year will hit $10 million, up from $2.6 million in 2009. “We just did a $1.1 million month in September,” he says.
Most of those revenues are coming from TubeMogul’s PlayTime video ad platform, which only launched last March, but is already one of the broadest reaching video ad networks. It is really less of a cookie-cutter ad networks than it is an ad optimization and management system. Because its video analytics are so widespread across video publishers (TubeMogul made them free in July), whenever you watch a video somewhere on the Web, chances are pretty good that TubeMogul is dropping a cookie on your browser. So it knows what kinds of videos you watched and shared elsewhere.
It uses this data to determine whether and how much to bid for video ad inventory on other sites through PlayTime. Wilson claims to posses the “world’s largest proprietary database of video viewership.” TubeMogul combines that database with collaborative filtering to figure out which viewers watch videos the longest and what kinds of ads they might want to see. “In the time it takes an ad to load,” he explains, “we are looking at the site and who the person is. Do we know them? Do we want to serve them an ad? We are picking off impressions in realtime.”
TubeMogul doesn’t just buy bulk video ad inventory. It decides on an viewer-by-viewer basis whether to buy that inventory and show them an ad. And brand advertisers seem to like it. Some of them just use TubeMogul for the data and buy their own ads directly. TubeMogul shows them the same granular analytics it offers video publishers. It can show them video ads by number of views, number of viewers, geography, time of day, time watched, clickthroughs, and sharing on social sites like Twitter and Facebook. In an era when brand advertisers especially are more interested in measuring engagement than anything else, whoever can give them the best data will win.