Intel Backs Video Data Firm Offering an Ad-Targeting Alternative to Cookies
By Sahil Patel
Intel Capital, the investment arm of Intel Corp., has led a new
$18 million Series B investment round in Iris.TV Inc., a data
technology company that provides tools to help marketers and others
understand the content of individual videos for the purposes of ad
targeting and measurement.
The investment comes as ad spending in streaming TV continues to
rise, driven by the continuing shift in viewership away from
traditional television and toward streaming services.
Advertisers are seeking improvements in their ability to target
viewers on streaming TV platforms and apps, particularly as
increasingly strict privacy rules limit the ad industry's ability
to track and target users based on their identities. Marketers also
want better visibility into the types of content near which their
Founded in 2013, Iris.TV focuses on analyzing the topics and
nature of individual videos -- whether it is a movie or an episode
of a TV show on a streaming service or a shorter video clip on a
website or mobile app. Its information lets advertisers target and
measure ads based on contextual relevance rather than the viewer's
identity or tracked behavior, according to executives.
"As cookies and third-party identifiers start to decline, the
traditional signal for today's marketers will erode," said Richie
Hyden, co-founder and chief operating officer of Iris.TV. "It won't
disappear completely, but it will never be the same."
While Iris.TV also provides data on videos that can be viewed on
computers and mobile phones, executives hope that a big part of its
future growth will be in the data it provides for content on
streaming TV apps, a fast-growing area of the advertising
Intel Capital, which spends about $300 million to $500 million a
year on roughly 30 new investments and additional investments in
existing deals, was interested in Iris.TV in part because of the
boom in streaming, said Andy Fligel, a senior managing director at
"We are looking at companies that are addressing large, growing
markets, " Mr. Fligel said. "Video streaming and connected TV meets
that definition -- that's a trend that we think will be unabated
for years to come."
Ad spending in the U.S. on internet-connected TV sets, for
instance, is expected to total $13.41 billion this year, up from
$9.03 billion in 2020, according to estimates from the research
As a result, tech giants such as Amazon.com Inc., legacy media
companies including ViacomCBS Inc. and Fox Corp., and TV
manufacturers such as Samsung Electronics Co. and Vizio Inc. have
been seeking to capture the ad dollars that are following viewers
But streaming-TV advertisers have a more limited view of the
surrounding content than in online advertising, where webpages can
be scraped to determine what appears near their ads.
"In connected TV, there is no web page," said Field Garthwaite,
co-founder and chief executive of Iris.TV. "You need to have access
to the raw asset, which is the content -- and in this case it's not
articles, but videos."
Iris.TV said it would use the new capital to invest more in its
platform and pursue more partnerships and integrations with other
companies in the ad tech ecosystem.
Other participants in the funding round include WISE Ventures,
Quest Venture Partners and Mirae Asset Venture Investment. Ad
technology executives Mike Baker, who founded Dataxu, which was
acquired by Roku Inc. in 2019, and Mike Shehan, founder and chief
executive of SpotX Inc., which was acquired by Magnite Inc. this
year, also participated.
Write to Sahil Patel at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 07, 2021 06:14 ET (10:14 GMT)
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