Light Reading

Advanced Video Ad Startup Banks VC Cash

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

This Technology LLC , a startup that makes dynamic video advert insertion software for multi-screen services, has landed a US$7.5 million round of Series A funding led by General Catalyst Partners .

The New York-based company, founded in 2006 by industry veteran Jeff Sherwin, also revealed Thursday that it has assembled an A-list of customers that includes Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), NBCUniversal LLC and ABC. Its software platform bridges the operations of service providers and video programmers and provides them with the back-office systems necessary to splice ads into video streams in real time.

Those sorts of capabilities are becoming key to companies looking to maximize revenues from video-on-demand (VoD) services. Not surprisingly, This Technology has tailored its platform for VoD as well as for linear IPTV feeds, over-the-top TV Everywhere apps, and network DVR services.

The round of funding, which sees General Catalyst managing director Neil Sequerira joining This Technology's board of directors, comes as the ad insertion company expands its operations. It recently opened a Denver-area office and has been hiring staff who have experience at companies such as Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), BigBand Networks Inc., Motorola Mobility and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC). The startup currently employs 18 people.

(Ed. note: And, yes, its executives have heard the joke about competing with That Technology...)

Why this matters
After many fits and starts, dynamic ad insertion for VoD is finally starting to take off for some of the nation's major service providers, giving them a way to switch out ads rapidly and help fund their growing libraries of "free" on-demand content.

The round of funding gives This Technology some financial breathing space as it tries to expand its customer base and product portfolio. This Technology says it's already profitable, but the funds will give it some extra ammunition as it looks to compete with the likes of BlackArrow Inc. , which has raised close to $65 million and counts Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Comcast among its customers. (See Comcast Ready to Mine for VoD Gold .)

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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