April 16, 2021
Intel’s investment division Intel Capital led a new $18 million Series B investment round in IRIS.TV, a data technology company that offers an alternative to cookies and third-party identifiers. IRIS.TV, founded in 2013, analyzes the topics of individual videos of any kind or length, providing information for advertisers on contextual relevance rather than the viewer’s personal data. IRIS.TV’s tech works on videos on mobile phones and computers and, notably, for content on streaming television apps.
The Wall Street Journal reports that IRIS.TV co-founder and chief operating officer Richie Hyden said, “as cookies and third-party identifiers start to decline, the traditional signal for today’s marketers will erode … it won’t disappear completely, but it will never be the same.”
Intel Capital senior managing director Andy Fligel said its interest in IRIS.TV is “in part because of the boom in streaming.” “We are looking at companies that are addressing large, growing markets,” he said. “Video streaming and connected TV meets that definition — that’s a trend that we think will be unabated for years to come.”
According to eMarketer, “ad spending in the U.S. on Internet-connected TV sets … is expected to total $13.41 billion this year, up from $9.03 billion in 2020.” Amazon, ViacomCBS, Fox, Samsung Electronics and Vizio are among the tech giants “seeking to capture the ad dollars that are following viewers into streaming.”
IRIS.TV co-founder and chief executive Field Garthwaite noted the difference between streaming TV and online advertising, “where webpages can be scraped to determine what appears near their ads.” “In connected TV, there is no web page,” he said. “You need to have access to the raw asset, which is the content — and in this case it’s not articles, but videos.”
Other investors in the funding round include WISE Ventures, Quest Venture Partners and Mirae Asset Venture Investment and veteran ad technology executives Mike Baker and Mike Shehan. IRIS.TV said it will use the capital to “invest more in its platform and pursue more partnerships and integrations with other companies in the ad tech ecosystem.”
FierceVideo reports that ad tech company Beeswax chief executive Ari Paparo was another investor in the new funding round. At Intel Capital, managing director Marcelino Ford-Livene stated that, “IRIS.TV is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the tremendous growth in online video viewership and the attendant need for brands and publishers to better monetize existing content in a connected TV world.”
IRIS.TV’s Garthwaite added that the investment will also enable the company to “continue hiring world class talent and developers” and invest in “new API’s and features to provide the tools publishers, ad platforms, and marketers need to successfully invest in the fast-growing connected TV space.”
IRIS.TV’s platform “connects video data from multiple sources to digital advertising platforms for analysis, segmentation, and activation by third parties such as Oracle Data Cloud, Comscore, GumGum, ZEFR, Advanced Contextual, and Silverbullet.”
For more information, the press release can be found here.