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What: French video ad-tech startup Teads, whose technology allows publishers to embed video ads within articles that play automatically when they’re visible on screen, has just closed a US $5.2 million Series A round, with funding from Partech Ventures and Elaia Partners.
Why is it important: Says Pascal Gauthier, Teads’ recently appointed independent administrator, that online video advertising market is booming and Teads seeks to effectively support TV advertisers to invest in digital and help publishers better monetize their inventory. Teads’ innovative tech platform and formats will enable the company to expand internationally at a fast pace.

Today, French startup Teads, a technology company that provides expert video advertising solutions and inventor of the “outStream” format, announced it has won a US $5.2 million round of Series A investment, led by Partech Ventures and joined by Elaia Partners. The funding will support Teads’ global expansion in the video advertising market, following the company’s success in France and the UK, and will help grow its publisher customer base.

Founded in 2011 by Loïc Soubeyrand, Loïc Jaurès and Olivier Reynaud, Teads has addressed the lack of premium online video inventory for advertisers and enabled top-tier publishers to monetize their large online audience through innovative video ads. Teads has developed “outstream” formats in order to create video inventory for publishers without the cost of buying or producing video content. These innovative ad units have been widely praised by premium press publishers and ad networks in 25 countries. The most famous format on Teads platform, inRead™, which delivers video ads within press articles (only when in view in the user’s screen), has been adopted by more than 500 publishers worldwide (Le Monde, Le Figaro, Financial Times, Forbes, The Economist, The Guardian, El Mundo, La Repubblica, Reuters, etc.).

TechCrunch reports that the inRead format embeds start playing automatically when they are visible enough (50%+) on the screen. The sound is switched on if the user mouses over the ad. Once a minimum amount of the ad has been viewed, CPV billing is triggered. Teads’ video ad formats can run across many forms of content including articles, home pages, slideshows, music, video and social media pages.

On the other side of the value chain –as reported in Clipperton Finance’s blog–, Teads also enables advertisers and agencies to secure visibility and completion of their ads.

As reported by TechCrunch’s Natasha Lomas, Teads plans to expand its presence in the U.S. on both coasts in calendar year 2014.

“The proprietary platform we have developed is able to deliver billions of video impressions every month, and allows the processing and analysis of the collected data in real time. Moreover, it has proven scalability, and this technological asset will benefit every user of the platform”, said Loïc Jaurès.

Following this transaction, Pascal Gauthier, former COO of Criteo (a company that generates dynamic personalized ads of the products and services consumers search for in the internet), has joined Teads as an independent director.

Sources: TechCrunch, Teads’ press release, Clipperton Finance.

What: Twitter announced its IPO under the ticker symbol TWTR, expecting to raise at least US $1B.
Why is it important: This is the most anticipated stock sale since Facebook went public last year. However, there are several concerns around its profitability.

Last Thursday evening, San Francisco-based social network Twitter made public its initial public offering filing with the US Securities Exchange Commission, its stock ticker symbol being TWTR. The filing indicates Twitter hopes to raise up to US $1 billion.

In its IPO filing, Twitter revealed that it has more than 200 million monthly active users –with 100 million of those deemed “daily active users”– who tweet 500 million tweets per day, and it stated that from 2011 to 2012, revenue increased by 198 percent to US $316.9 million, while its net loss decreased by 38 percent to US $79.4 million.

The company said the number of shares of common stock that will be outstanding after this offering “is based on 472,613,753 shares of their common stock,” including preferred stock.

Twitter also revealed in the prospectus that it earned far more of its advertising revenue from American users than from foreign users, and it noted that it was targeting Argentina, France, Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia and South Africa for faster growth than in the United States. Analysts say the social network’s uses, ranging from sharing mundane thoughts on local television shows and sports to organizing social protests and political gatherings, has played a major role in its adoption in both emerging and developed countries.

Of all Twitter users, 75 percent used mobile devices to access the service, and the company said in its filing that it intends to “continue to increase the monetization of its platform” by improving its ability to single out users for “promoted” tweets, or ads, and by expanding its outreach to international advertisers. It stated as well that 75 percent of its users entered the service through mobile devices during the second quarter and that 65 percent of its revenue came from mobile ads. Nevertheless, prices for Twitter advertisements, which make up most of the company’s revenue, are falling, the prospectus indicated.

There’s a remarkable fact regarding Twitter users in emerging markets, however: many of them still use low-cost phones that are not fit to take advantage of Twitter’s mobile offerings, meaning the quality of its overseas customer base will depend partly on the continued penetration of higher-end smartphones. The company will also likely have to ramp up its global work force as it looks to increasing sell advertising in regions with multiple languages and cultures (not to mention it will have to fight to draw attention to its platform and away from rival services).

Twitter’s main streams of advertising revenue are thought to be promoted tweets, promoted trends and promoted accounts. According to the New York Times, Zachary Reiss-Davis, an analyst at Forrester, said the social network would eventually need to show how it could evolve its global advertising efforts and make its offerings more sophisticated.

“Twitter has done a good job of growing its international user base,” he said, “but now it has to work with marketers to create advertising experiences that work for those international users and for marketers.”

However, Twitter still faces a series of technical challenges in turning user interest into cold cash, ranging from spotty Internet connections to government bans on the service and fast-growing rivals.

Before the IPO filing was released, Santosh Rao, senior analyst and head of research at Greencrest Capital, said he did not believe Twitter was profitable yet, though if it is, “it’s probably very minimal, but that doesn’t concern investors.” And he added that “profitability is not a priority. Monetizing and revenue growth are what investors are interested in. Profitability will come later on.”

Sources: UPI, Gigaom, Bloomberg Buisnessweek, ABC News, New York Times.

What: Twitter announced its IPO under the ticker symbol TWTR, expecting to raise at least US $1B.
Why is it important: This is the most anticipated stock sale since Facebook went public last year. However, there are several concerns around its profitability.

Last Thursday evening, San Francisco-based social network Twitter made public its initial public offering filing with the US Securities Exchange Commission, its stock ticker symbol being TWTR. The filing indicates Twitter hopes to raise up to US $1 billion.

In its IPO filing, Twitter revealed that it has more than 200 million monthly active users –with 100 million of those deemed “daily active users”– who tweet 500 million tweets per day, and it stated that from 2011 to 2012, revenue increased by 198 percent to US $316.9 million, while its net loss decreased by 38 percent to US $79.4 million.

The Forex Trading company said the number of shares of common stock that will be outstanding after this offering “is based on 472,613,753 shares of their common stock,” including preferred stock.

Twitter also revealed in the prospectus that it earned far more of its advertising revenue from American users than from foreign users, and it noted that it was targeting Argentina, France, Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia and South Africa for faster growth than in the United States. Analysts say the social network’s uses, ranging from sharing mundane thoughts on local television shows and sports to organizing social protests and political gatherings, has played a major role in its adoption in both emerging and developed countries.

Of all Twitter users, 75 percent used mobile devices to access the service, and the company said in its filing that it intends to “continue to increase the monetization of its platform” by improving its ability to single out users for “promoted” tweets, or ads, and by expanding its outreach to international advertisers. It stated as well that 75 percent of its users entered the service through mobile devices during the second quarter and that 65 percent of its revenue came from mobile ads. Nevertheless, prices for Twitter advertisements, which make up most of the company’s revenue, are falling, the prospectus indicated.

There’s a remarkable fact regarding Twitter users in emerging markets, however: many of them still use low-cost phones that are not fit to take advantage of Twitter’s mobile offerings, meaning the quality of its overseas customer base will depend partly on the continued penetration of higher-end smartphones. The company will also likely have to ramp up its global work force as it looks to increasing sell advertising in regions with multiple languages and cultures (not to mention it will have to fight to draw attention to its platform and away from rival services).

Twitter’s main streams of advertising revenue are thought to be promoted tweets, promoted trends and promoted accounts. According to the New York Times, Zachary Reiss-Davis, an analyst at Forrester, said the social network would eventually need to show how it could evolve its global advertising efforts and make its offerings more sophisticated.

“Twitter has done a good job of growing its international user base,” he said, “but now it has to work with marketers to create advertising experiences that work for those international users and for marketers.”

However, Twitter still faces a series of technical challenges in turning user interest into cold cash, ranging from spotty Internet connections to government bans on the service and fast-growing rivals.

Before the IPO filing was released, Santosh Rao, senior analyst and head of research at Greencrest Capital, said he did not believe Twitter was profitable yet, though if it is, “it’s probably very minimal, but that doesn’t concern investors.” And he added that “profitability is not a priority. Monetizing and revenue growth are what investors are interested in. Profitability will come later on.”

Sources: UPI, Gigaom, Bloomberg Buisnessweek, ABC News, New York Times.

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