Clypd Raises $19.4M, Gets Boost From European Broadcaster and TiVo

Clypd, a Boston-area startup that wants to make TV advertising more like its digital cousin by incorporating programmatic ad selling, has raised a $19.4 million Series B round, the company announced Thursday.

Leading the round is the RTL Group, a European media and broadcasting company. TiVo, the pioneer in digital video recording, joined the round, as did Atlas Venture, Data Point Capital, Duke University, Transmedia Capital, and Western Technology Investment. All told, Clypd has raised $30 million since it was founded in 2012.

Programmatic advertising, which automates the ad-buying process and includes real-time bidding on advertising space, has revolutionized digital advertising, and Clypd is trying to ensure it does the same for television broadcasting. The total spent on buying airtime for TV ads is massive, with $74 billion spent in the U.S. and $220 billion spent worldwide.

Clypd lets television networks and media companies such as Cox, Discovery, and Univision—they’re on what the industry calls the sell side—market airtime to ad buyers. The company said it also provides customers with data about who sees their adds and automates the ad-selling process.

Clypd will use the money to fund an across-the-board expansion, it said in a release. It also plans to grow in Europe and Asia.

It’s easy to see why RTL would be interested in that approach, as the company owns 52 TV channels in Europe. Investing in Clypd is RTL’s second big play in programmatic advertising. Last year, RTL paid $144 million to buy a majority stake in SpotXchange, a programmatic advertising startup based outside Denver. SpotXchange specializes in helping online publishers sell space for video advertising.

TiVo is also an interesting investor, seeing how it brought software to television and up-ended the TV world (and advertising) by allowing viewers to skip through ads. It characterizes its strategic investment in Clypd as a chance to take advantage of some of the changes it has created.

“Clypd is moving the industry forward by enabling data-driven TV ad sales and delivering actionable insights. We are at a turning point in advertising and Clypd has the potential to help TV media owners understand their inventory and audiences in a way never done before,” TiVo’s chief research officer Jonathan Steuer said in a statement.

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