Innovid Lands $11M to Get Its Interactive Video Ad Tech on Connected TVs

Innovid Inc. has raised $11 million in new funding to build up its partnerships in anticipation of the shift towards Internet-connected televisions.
New investor Vintage Investment Partners led the round, with participation from existing investors Genesis Partners, Sequoia Capital and T-Venture, the venture arm of Deutsche Telekom AG. The company declined to disclose the valuation.
Though many venture firms have slowed down their ad tech investments, video advertising remains a popular sector because of the high growth rates. Spending on digital video advertising in the U.S. is expected to nearly double to $4.14 billion from $1.42 billion in 2010, according to research firm eMarketer.
The New York-based Innovid sells tools and services that enable brand advertisers to create, deliver and measure online video advertisements across different devices, video websites or ad networks. It also sells technology for building interactive features, such as such as games or purchases, directly into a video advertisement.
As more televisions become Internet-enabled–either at the factory or by being hooked up to a gaming console, a Blu-ray player or other connected device–there’s a growing opportunity to serve ads to the applications on those devices, said Zvika Netter, Innovid’s chief executive and one of its founders.
Today the company can already deliver standard ads to those devices, but to deliver its own brand of interactive ads, it needs to develop partnerships with the device makers, who each use their own formats and different code to play ads.
There are no standards in this space today, and it’s still an early development, but Innovid wants its technology to be in place whenever advertisers turn en masse to connected TVs, Mr. Netter said.
The company was founded three years ago to build interactive video advertisements and while it still sees a big opportunity there–it has delivered more than 2,100 interactive video ad campaigns last year–it found that its customers have simpler needs.
“For two years we built this crazy, science fiction, rocket-science technology to do crazy things in video,” Mr. Netter said. But once it began talking to customers it realized they were struggling with more basic problems around how to manage and deliver video ads to a variety of devices and destinations.
That led the company to begin offering and marketing its video ad-server and other services to customers about 18 months ago.
Unlike most ad technology companies, Innovid charges its customers a fee based on how many ads they run, rather than a percentage of the media spending that runs across its service.

Innovid has now raised $27.6 million in venture funding