VisualDNA, formerly Imagini, expands to the U.S.

London-based startup VisualDNA (formerly Imagini) has announced that it’s taking its “audience network” to the U.S. today, along with appointing digital media industry veteran Leighton Webb to head up its operations across the pond as Senior Vice President and Managing Director.

Webb has held senior level roles with major media companies in both the U.S. and Europe, including 20th Century Fox and AOL, and joins VisualDNA from the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), where he is said to have helped build OWN’s digital media group in preparation for its launch scheduled for early 2011.

In addition, the company says that Robert Tercek, who most recently served as President of Digital Media at OWN, has joined its Board as a non-executive Director.

VisualDNA is a provider of online advertising technology that helps publishers increase revenues by enabling advertisers to better target various audiences. It does this through its main product of the same name, which collects data on audiences via a visual app that presents picture choices from which VisualDNA can ascertain different personality types – see our previous coverage.

This game-like approach is obviously more engaging than asking visitors to fill in a survey, but like those annoying ‘pop ups’, can be installed by a publisher as a means to learn more about their visitors and in turn, sell more advertising.

In February 2009, VisualDNA, then called Imagini, raised a significant $13.5 million in a second round of funding from Horizons Ventures, NorthZone Ventures and Atomico. Its first round of $5m came from NorthZone, Atomico, TAG, Brent Hoberman (co-founder of and Bill Draper.