Fuisz Media Raises $10 Million Led by Evolution Media Partners

Interactive-video startup's investors also include Ross Levinsohn and ICM's Chris Silbermann

Interactive-video startup Fuisz Media has closed $10 million in Series A financing, led by Evolution Media Partners, the joint venture of CAA-backed Evolution Media Capital, TPG Growth and Participant Media.

Fuisz’s interactive videos let viewers click on objects in a scene to access additional info, purchase items or trigger other actions. The company has about 30 clients, including Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Ford, Walmart, Target and Victoria’s Secret, and is looking to drive business with media and entertainment companies as well.

Founder and CEO Justin Fuisz said interactive videos deliver far higher engagement than conventional video: Whereas preroll ads typically get less than 1% click-through rates, Fuisz’s videos can achieve 60% or higher. “The Snapchat generation doesn’t want pre-roll ads,” he said. “With our Hollywood partners, we have an opportunity to go after long-form brand integration.”

The funding brings Fuisz, founded in 2013, to about $12 million raised to date. Additional investors in the round included Ross Levinsohn, former CEO of Yahoo and Guggenheim Digital Media; Chris Silbermann, co-founder and president of ICM Partners; Jon Liebman, CEO of Brillstein Entertainment Partners; Richard Sarnoff, head of the media and communications group at private-equity firm KKR; Jon Miller, former chairman and CEO of AOL and News Corp’s digital media group; MediaLink; and Modern Times Group.

Previous Fuisz investors that also participated in the round included Luminari Capital; Lerer Hippeau Ventures; Michael Lazerow, founder of Buddy Media and chief strategy officer at Salesforce; and Roku chief marketing officer Matt Anderson.

With the funding, Ross Levinsohn and Evolution Media Capital principal Ian Doody have joined the startup’s board. “Fuisz has broken new ground in terms of engagement and instantly helps brands fully realize the power of video, delivering experiences that give viewers innovative ways to interact with content across social media, e-commerce, entertainment and more,” Levinsohn said in a prepared statement.

Fuisz Media, which has about 40 employees, is based in Santa Monica with offices in New York and Tokyo. The company will use the funding to expand the capabilities of its platform and expand partnerships with social networks, with plans to hire staff on both product and sales teams.

Other companies in the interactive-video space include Interlude, Rapt Media, Cinematique and Wirewax.

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