Ad-Optimization Startup VideoAmp Raises $21.4 Million Led by Mediaocean

VideoAmp, a vendor of software and data services for optimizing ad buys across TV and digital platforms, announced that it has raised $21.4 million in a Series B funding led by media-buying software vendor Mediaocean.

Also participating in the round, which closed in May, were previous investors RTL Group, GoAhead Ventures, StartUp Capital Ventures, Anthem Venture Partners, Wavemaker Partners, and Simon Equity Partners. The funding brings Santa Monica-based VideoAmp to $36.6 million total raised to date.

German media conglomerate RTL, in reporting financial results, has disclosed that it invested $5 million in VideoAmp’s Series B round. That increased RTL’s share in the privately held company from 21.5% to 25% on a non-diluted basis (24% on a fully diluted basis).

VideoAmp says its system lets ad agencies and content owners unify planning, packaging and activation of linear TV and digital-video campaigns across any screen. The startup offers de-duplicating and targeting methods to reach TV, video-on-demand, over-the-top video, desktop, and mobile audiences.

“VideoAmp has been 100% focused on solving the challenges of linear TV and digital-video convergence since the day we founded the business in 2014,” said co-founder and CEO Ross McCray (pictured above). “We will be investing the lion’s share of capital from this round to further expand our engineering team and license additional first-party data sets as new inputs into our data science projects.”

According to McCray, two-thirds of VideoAmp’s 54 employees are in engineering or technical roles. The company said its key growth drivers are: the use of digital audience data to plan linear TV and allocate upfront linear TV units; programmatic buying of media across linear TV, OTT and digital channels; and reporting on de-duplicated reach and frequency in an integrated, self-service interface.

Over the past year, VideoAmp has inked more than 40 strategic partnerships in the space, including with Mediaocean, comScore, Nielsen, Comcast’s FreeWheel, Publicis Groupe’s Spark Foundry, Omnicom Group, Horizon Media, LiveRamp, Neustar, SpotX, and Clypd.

In May, VideoAmp announced a partnership with Mediaocean, which is owned by Vista Equity Partners, to create what the companies said is a fully integrated linear TV planning, allocation and optimization solution for the upfront and scatter markets for agencies and brands.

In conjunction with the funding round, Mediaocean co-founder and CEO Bill Wise is joining VideoAmp’s board. “This investment, and the software solutions we create together, will ensure that our customers benefit from secular shifts in advertising from traditional ad sales to programmatic and to audience-based buying and selling across devices,” Wise said in a statement.

Separately, RTL Group on Wednesday announced an agreement to acquire full ownership of video-ad serving company SpotX, paying $145 million to acquire the remaining 36.4% of the company it does not own.

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