Investors are lining up outside VideoAmp’s headquarters with wheelbarrows filled with cash. It’s a turn of events co-founder Ross McCray s machine-learning algorithms likely could never calculate. After accumulating $2.2 million in seed financing last December, the Santa Monica, California-based startup procured a $15 million Series A investment from the German entertainment media network RTL Group. VideoAmp is a video ad platform built to buy, optimize and measure video ads across TV, mobile and desktop.
“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, RTL Group s senior vice president of strategy. “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.”
McCray, who serves as VideoAmp’s 24-year-old CEO, and chief business officer Jay Prasad, joined [a]listdaily to discuss the software company’s immediate future and upcoming marketing tactics.
What are some of ways the newly acquired $15 million will be used? What does having the backing of big media companies like the RTL Group mean for VideoAmp, and the industry as a whole?
Ross: We’re using the funds to continue developing our engineering, data science and sales departments. We also plan to do a lot of product research/white papers next year. Having RTL gives us scale and proves the global trend toward audience-based buying and selling.
What’s next as you build out capability?
Ross: We spent most of 2015 heads-down building our product suite and opening it up the market. 2016 is really all about taking what we have, making it better and scaling.
With recent investments from European media companies in L.A. video companies Bertelsmann/MTG, et al … what are the opportunities for brands in today’s online video landscape?
Jay: I believe that this is in relation to brand advertisers and online video: Brands have a lot more opportunity as digital video has become a format with multiple “screen factors” versus just YouTube. Creative options have never been so plentiful, between sequential storytelling across screens, creating custom content for SnapChat, brands can be omnipresent without being oppressive.
How do you see the future of video developing?
Ross: It’s very clear that the market is shifting toward total video and tearing down the walls of TV and digital.
How do you market to buyers that VideoAmp plans, purchases and measures as a one-stop shop?
Jay: Buyers of media and technology of course would like the simplicity of buying from a one-stop shop. That however may not be in their long term best interests. The most important criteria seems to be transparency, efficiency and automating certain functions. For the most part that s done by working with the best of breed solutions.