One of the fastest growing segments of online advertising is video ads (it was up 42 percent in the first half of the year, and expected to continue strong growth into 2012). One beneficiary of this growth is BrightRoll, a video ad network with revenues doubling every year for the past three years and expected to do more than $50 million in revenues this year. The company, based in San Francisco, employs 150 people,up from 30 at the beginning of the year. It hired a CFO last April.
BrightRoll just closed a $30 million Series C financing, led by Trident Capital. True Ventures, Scale Venture Partners, Adam Street Partners, and Comerica Bank also participated in the round.
The company plans to use the money to expand its newer businesses, which include a video ad exchange, mobile video ads, and internationally. The bulk of BrightRoll’s revenues still comes from pre-roll video ads. But not all of these video ads run in front of videos. A third of the video ad inventory on BrightRoll’s exchange are for video ads on gaming sites in between levels. If Zynga served a video ad every time it could, its video ads would reach more people than Hulu.
“One of the most interesting things we have seen is publishers serving video ads on sites without video content,” says CEO Tod Sacerdoti. The video ad inventory in its exchange, which is a new part of its business, is up eightfold this quarter over last year.
BrightRoll competes with larger video ad networks such as Tremor Media, but its biggest opportunity is to keep taking share away from publisher sites, which don’t have enough video inventory to satisfy advertisers. Ad networks like BrightRoll provide the scale that advertisers crave, and its ad rates are a half to a third lower than what advertisers pay for video ads on premium video sites such as Hulu or ABC.com