Interactive ad startup true[X] is announcing that it has raised $6 million in additional funding.
CEO Joe Marchese told me that the money was an extension of the $20 million Series D that true[X] raised in 2011 (back when it was still called SocialVibe), and that it came from existing investors Pinnacle Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Jafco Ventures, and Redpoint Ventures.
He added that having the extra cash will allow true[X] to pursue its goals more aggressively, particularly when it comes to recruiting big-name publishers to its ad platform. In Marchese’s words, the goal is to move the industry away from the “willfully negligent packaging and repackaging of worthless impressions,” so he’s specifically looking for publishers who “favor quality over volume.” (You can read more about his thoughts on the online ad industry, which he compares to the subprime mortgage industry, here.)
Likely useful in those efforts will be some recent additions to the true[X] board — James Murdoch (News Corp. executive and son of Rupert Murdoch), Jonathan Miller (former CEO of AOL, which owns TechCrunch), and Mich Mathews (former chief marketing officer at Microsoft).
So what is true[x] actually offering? Well, there are some sample ads halfway down the company’s homepage, but the gist is that they start as regular display and text ads, then users can click on them to open up a full-screen experience with video and interactive capabilities. (The company also provides data around time spent with the ads, impressions, social sharing, brand awareness, and more.) True[X] advertisers include American Express, Best Buy, and Jack in the Box.
Asked whether he plans to raise a bigger round soon, Marchese replied, “You know, we weren’t going to do this [funding] at this time, so it really depends on how fast everything goes.”