RTL Group Expands in Online Video, Leads VideoAmp US$15M Series A

What: VideoAmp, a screen optimization platform for the TV and video ecosystem, has raised a US$15M Series A funding round led by RTL Group.
Why it matters: This investment brings VideoAmp's total funding to US$17.2M and will help the company rapidly accelerate development and drive adoption of its unique Optimization platform. German RTL Group is also the owner of MPN StyleHaul as well as a majority investor in video ad-trade platform SpotXchange.

Santa Monica, Calif.-based startup VideoAmp, a screen optimization platform for the TV and video ecosystem, has announced a US$15M Series A funding round led by RTL Group, the European entertainment network. This investment brings VideoAmp's total funding to US$17.2M and will help the company rapidly accelerate development and drive adoption of its unique platform.

The new financing will help VideoAmp invest in  product development and to staff up in engineering, sales and client services. The startup expects to have about 60 people by the second quarter of 2016.VideoAmp had raised US$2.2 million in seed financing prior to the new round and had expanded its team, to 43 poeple in less than two years.

VideoAmp's technology bridges the data divide between TV, digital, and OTT platforms. This enables the seamless planning, packaging and optimization of cross-screen audiences for the benefit of both advertisers and media owners. The company deploys machine-learning algorithms against cross-screen data within its platform to find precise audiences across all video screens, including linear TV. The technology is delivered via a suite of flexible APIs (application programming interfaces) that allows for customers and partners to build their own custom solutions on top.

"Video consumption has changed dramatically. People are constantly shifting between different apps and devices – now advertising can do the same with even more precision," said Ross McCray, co-founder and CEO, VideoAmp. "VideoAmp is technology for the cross-screen world. We enable advertisers and content owners to transact across all screens seamlessly by enabling data for both buyers and sellers."

"VideoAmp fits perfectly into RTL Group's digital strategy as it is complementary to our current ad tech businesses SpotX and Clypd," said Rhys Noelke, senior vice president strategy, RTL Group, who will also join the VideoAmp board of directors. "VideoAmp's solutions will enable SpotX publishers to identify, target and optimize the same audience across multiple devices. The transaction with VideoAmp positions RTL Group as the first European broadcaster to invest in the increasingly important field of cross-field expertise. With this move into the digital space with VideoAmp, RTL Group strengthens the advertising technology arm of the recently created RTL Digital Hub."

"The market has signified an urgent need to unify messaging and drive efficiency in brand advertising. This funding validates that it's a global trend," added Jay Prasad, chief business officer, VideoAmp.

Additional participation in the Series A funding for VideoAmp includes previous investors Anthem Venture Partners, Simon Equity Partners, Third Wave Capital, Wavemaker Partners, ZenShin Capital, and additional new investment from Startup Capital Ventures.

RTL Group’s investment in VideoAmp follows its acquisition of a majority stake in Denver-based video supply-side platform SpotXchange. as well as in YouTube multichannel video network StyleHaul and BroadbandTV and a US$19.4 million investment in programmatic TV tool Clypd.

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