We’ve been watching online video advertising startup Brainient for a little while, given that the online video market looked poised for a lot of growth. Just how much growth was revealed at CES last week when YouTube stood up and predicted that 75 percent of all future channels will be born on the Internet and it had logged a trillion hits in 2011. That’s a lot of potential advertising inventory and someone out there is going to have to come up with some answers to make this work.
To that end Brainient has brought round a few people to the same idea, given that today it lands $1.8 million in funding from a number of strategic investors. The round was led by Prague-based Credo Ventures. The other backers include Atlas Venture and Estag Capital. Existing investors Sherry Coutu and Dave Mclure’s 500 Startups incubator also participated in the round. Atlas is already doubling down on ad plays such as AdSafe Media and Estag Capital in RevenueMax, Germany’s leading yield optimisation platform.
The capital will be used to expand the company’s client services and technology teams. Job one is expanding its offices in London and Bucharest (where the technology platform is developed) and opening a new office in New York.
Brainient’s technology is all about increasing the engagement and performance of video adverts via BrainRolls (which allows the insertion of rich-media interactive elements into video ads) and BrainAds, a personalised video retargeting platform which, Brainient claims, is the first video ad retargeting platform in the world. They claim these BrainRolls generate three to five times higher CTRs than noninteractive pre-rolls, and click-to-sales conversion rates of up to 10% with their BrainAds product. So now those ads can follow you around in videos as well! Rejoice people.
So far Braininet has worked with Samsung, Volvo, Canon, GetTheLabel and GlassesDirect.
Emi Gal, Brainient’s co-founder and CEO told me that while they are getting their most traction in Europe their biggest market is the US so they need an NYC office ASAP.
There are clearly other companies out there doing similar things, but Brainient’s rock-star Romanian developers (remember, Seesmic, among other “US startups”, is built there), capital efficiency and Gal’s legendary red shoes might just do the trick.