Eyeview Gets $15M from Marker to Scale Up Its Video Ad Platform

New York-based Eyeview has raised $15 million from venture capital firm Marker, one of its existing investors, to help grow its personalized online video ad platform.

Eyeview’s software lets marketers push digital video ads personalized and tweaked for consumers, says CEO and co-founder Oren Harnevo. The company was founded in 2007 and thus far has raised $34.5 million in total funding.

Harnevo says the company’s plan is to bring personalized video ads to connected televisions, desktop computers, and mobile devices. Other forms of advertising, such as print and billboards, tend to be localized, he says. “But video never got there, mainly because of technology,” Harnevo says. “It’s almost impossible to run a TV ad for different cities with different messages.”

The company’s platform lets marketers target not just age groups and income levels, Harnevo says. The targeting can drill down to customers who have visited their brand’s website and looked at particular products.

That, he says, can help drive sales rather than simply put out a brand’s message. Eyeview gets data from brands, he says, such as what customers have bought in stores and the types of cars they own. That is coupled with Eyeview’s data on which type of message fits certain demographics, along with other information, to edit existing video ads to suit the recipients.

“In five years, 30 to 60 percent of video ads will be personalized,” Harnevo says. He adds that his company will aim next year to prove to marketers that they do not have to run the same video ads everywhere. “It’s very hard to change people’s minds, especially chief marketing officers who have been running TV ads for 20 years,” he says.

Eyeview has high ambitions in an ad tech scene that is rather frothy, especially in New York. While it makes sense for startups here to latch on to an industry with deep roots in the city, it is also difficult to stand out. Harnevo says there is a consolidation of technology formats in ad tech. “You see Google, AOL, Yahoo, and smaller companies starting to say with mobile video ads, you need one platform to buy media, see reporting, and connect on performance,” he says.

With the landscape starting to look a bit homogenous, Harnevo believes Eyeview can set itself apart by bringing individuality to online video ads. “Personalization is unique enough for marketers to use us,” he says.

With the latest funding, the company plans to expand with new hires—particularly in sales—and to increase its presence in Detroit, Los Angeles, and Chicago, where it already has offices.

Eyeview recruited Brian Pozesky from Conversant to be its chief marketing officer and West Naze to serve as executive director of consumer packaged goods sales. Naze was previously executive vice president of sales and technology with News Corp.

Eyeview has already hired more than 50 new employees this year. The company currently has a staff of 80 with plans to grow to 100 by end of year. “We were two or three people in 2011 here in New York,” Harnevo says.

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