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TV Ad Tracker iSpot.tv Raises $30 Million in Funding

Riding a growth curve in TV advertising analytics, iSpot.tv announced an additional $30 million of investment capital.

The Series C round in iSpot, founded in 2012, was led by existing investors Insight Venture Partners and Madrona Venture Group. It brings the total investment in the company to $57.8 million to date.

Sean Muller, iSpot’s founder and CEO, told Variety the company will use the new funding to expand hiring across all areas of the business, including engineering, data science, product, customer services and consulting, and sales and marketing. The Bellvue, Wash.-based company has 155 employee today, with plans to grow headcount to around 200 by early 2019, he said.

The privately held company doesn’t disclose financials, but according to Muller annual revenue from core subscriptions has more than doubled in each of the last five years and increased 14-fold since iSpot’s last round of equity financing in May 2015.

“The reason we’ve been growing so rapidly is that there’s a real shift in the industry for advertisers to move beyond age and gender in TV, to have more transparency, and think about their media on TV in the context of business outcomes,” Muller said.

For now, iSpot is focused on the U.S. market, and isn’t looking at expanding internationally.

Using anonymized data from more than 9 million smart TV devices, iSpot provides real-time media measurement and performance metrics. Clients use the data to validate TV impressions, measure creative wear, correlate exposure rates to digital actions and sales lift, and predict how best to reach actual customers. According to iSpot, its system can verify ad impressions and time on screen across all formats, including national TV (live and time-shifted), local TV, VOD, over-the-top video, and addressable ads, and benchmark ad viewing behaviors, persistently, at scale

Muller declined to comment on iSpot’s valuation following the latest round of funding, which closed in mid-September. The company is close to being profitable and still has capital from its last fund-raise three years ago. “We didn’t need to raise capital – which is the best time to raise capital,” Muller said, adding that 10 different investor groups had approached iSpot about joining the round.

Insight Venture Partners managing director Jeff Lieberman, commenting on the funding round, said about iSpot, “Becoming a trusted, truly independent third-party measurement company for the world’s largest brands is an excruciatingly difficult process very few companies have accomplished in the last few decades.”

Clients of iSpot include T-Mobile, TripAdvisor, Dish Network, CBS, NBCUniversal, Fox, Lionsgate, Amazon, Facebook, Disney, Warner Bros. and Viacom.

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