Virool, which is part of the current Y Combinator Summer 2012 class, has launched a self-serve platform that will let any YouTube user increase their video views through placement in Facebook and mobile apps.
Its platform works like this: On the publisher side, Virool provides an API that developers can use to hook into the platform and deliver relevant videos to their users. Video producers who want to use the system can link to their YouTube videos in Virool, providing keywords they’d like to target and relevant geographical markets they’d like to see videos appear in. They can pay as little as $10 to promote their content, which is then pushed out to Virool’s network, to appear in any number of mobile or Facebook applications.
The startup is positioning itself as a sort of “AdWords” for videos, providing a way for advertisers to make their videos go viral. But it’s not for 15- or 30-second video ads. Instead, Virool is targeting publishers who have created videos longer than a minute and want promotion on various new platforms. And unlike other video ad services, Virool ensures that viewers actually watch a sizable portion of the video. Its advertisers on the platform only pay when a viewer has watched at least 45 seconds of a minute-long video.
Even though Virool has only been around for a few months, the startup is seeing huge growth, both in terms of the number of videos it serves and the amount of revenue it’s generating. It already has more than 5,000 advertisers using the platform, and is adding about 200 new advertisers every day. It’s also serving more than half a million video views a day, according to founder Alexander Debelov.
Part of its growth just comes from the fact that advertisers keep coming back. Debelov says that more than half of users who sign up and test out the platform come back, and many times those repeat advertisers are running three or four campaigns after their initial trial. Part of that growth also comes from attracting brand interest early on. While anyone can use the platform to promote their content, Virool has already been used for campaigns by major brands like Sephora, Skittles, GM, and Clorox.
Either way, Virool is seeing its revenues double every month, and the startup is already profitable despite marketing mainly by word of mouth. To keep growing, Virool has raised $500,000 in seed funding from Y Combinator, 500 Startups, NetPrice, Global Venture Aliance, Plug and Play Ventures, and Ryan Tu.
Virool has also provided us with promo codes for users to test out the service. The first 100 TechCrunch readers to register and use the code “viroolisawesome” on the payment screen will get a $100 credit toward their account. Are you a video producer looking for promotion? Check it out.