Unruly inks $25m Series A to take social video ads global, stumbles over Chrome

Unruly, the social video advertising company based out of London, has inked a $25 million Series A investment from Amadeus Capital Partners, Van den Ende & Deitmers and the new UK Business Growth Fund. This is the largest ever funding for a private company in the social video space and will be used to grow the company internationally. Unruly was this week caught up in a controversy surrounding Google’s campaign for Chrome, where, in paying bloggers to run videos about Chrome it was accused of being a party to influencing Chrome’s search engine rankings, in violation of Google’s own policies. Unruly has denied the charges saying the video players are wrapped in Javascript and don’t influence search engine rankings. However, one site was caught linking back to Chrome, hence the accusations.

Whatever the case, Unruly itself is doing very, very well. Its revenue run-rate is approaching $50 million (2011 full year revenue $25 million) and it has been profitable since 2009. The company has has 100 staff across nine offices and says it is doubling in size each year.

It’s “social video campaigns” for global brands, include ones for Evian’s “Roller Babies” and Old Spice’s “Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign.

Video is of course huge, and getting bigger. Social video campaigns generated 2.7 billion views in 2010, more than 8 billion views in 2011 and are predicted to generate 20 billion views in 2012, according to the agency.

CEO and Co-Founder Scott Button said the funding round was decided over “a few late nights, too much coffee, and a fair amount of pizza” but was, in the end, oversubscribed. “Unruly doesn’t need to raise capital… [but is].. set on becoming the dominant player in every major advertising territory within the next two years,” he said.