Video Platform Startup Veenome Raises $500K From Ecosystem VC & Angels

Washington, D.C.-based video indexing and discovery startup Veenome has raised $500, 000 in seed funding from Ecosystem Ventures (investors in Tube Mogul and Facebook), plus private angel investors from Google, Dingman Center Angels, as well as Chegg founder Aayush Phumhra and the founder of WebMetrics Tim Drees.

The company uses proprietary automated video recognition technology to scan video clips for products, brands and objects which can be tagged and indexed.

Once identified and tagged, these items can then be linked to associated content elsewhere, like an e-commerce storefront or a social media site. That means, for example, if you liked the sunglasses Lady Gaga was wearing in her latest video, you could just click on them within the video to purchase.

Veenome says the additional funding will be used to enhance its recognition algorithms and APIs for its early customers. The company is currently running a beta test with participants who include major global publishers and video providers.

At first blush, the new service sounds an awful lot like a video version of ThingLink, the other media-tagging startup that lets you tag photos and images hosted online. However, unlike ThingLink, which requires you tag each item explicitly, the content providers and producers who use Veenome just have to install a plugin on their website to get started. Veenome then crawls their site and overlays the advertising on the videos it finds there. Plugins will be available for the major blog platforms (WordPress, Drupal, etc.) and some custom channels, the company says.

This automatic image scanning and tagging functionality is also how Veenome differentiates itself from other video startups that offer tagging, like Viddler, BlipSnips, Vidtaggr, and others.

Veenome’s business model resembles AdWords, where interested advertisers and marketers will bid on the tags in videos. Content producers and publishers will share the ad revenue with Veenome (70% publisher/25% Veenome/5% Video Creator).

Veenome was founded by CEO Kevin Lenane and CTO David Geller. Lenane was most recently the Director of Mobile Strategy at PointAbout and has product management experience in Web, mobile and location-based services. Geller is the former CEO of Plexstar and of Amazing Media.