Pluggd Plugs Into $6 Million For Contextual Video Service

by , Aug 27, 2007, 6:00 AM
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Pluggd, a Seattle-based developer of a platform for online video search and highly targeted contextual advertising, has secured $6 million in Series A financing from Intel Capital, which led the round, along with DFJ Frontier, Band of Angels, Labrador Ventures and others.

Pluggd is one of a long line of companies looking to become the Google AdSense of streaming video. Others keen on combining contextual advertising with streaming video include Adap.tv, Digitalsmiths, Get Interactive, Adjustables, AdBrite and blinkx's AdHoc. And of course, earlier this week, Google's YouTube introduced its own InVideo platform, with targeting currently based only on user demographics and video genre only.

Pluggd plans to use the new financing to accelerate product development, boost hiring, and build partnerships with traditional media companies and online content providers.

By searching inside video streams, Pluggd said its platform frees advertisers from relying solely on pre-roll and post-roll--instead, they can dynamically place clickable overlay ad banners at any point in a video that is most contextually relevant.

"Since we have the ability to look within the audio and video content and understand the content itself, we can match up advertisers using that information," Pluggd CEO Alex Castro told OMMA magazine last November. "If you're watching a videocast about travel in Europe, and one segment is about Dubrovnik, we could match up an advertiser who does tours on the Croatian coast."

As part of the new funding, Band of Angels' Ian Sobieski and DFJ Frontier's Scott Lenet will join Pluggd's board of directors, and Intel Capital's Gustavo Aray will become a board observer.

Needless to say, they all had nothing but raves for the new technology.

"Pluggd's ability to let users search within a video stream is something no one else can offer," said Lenet. "The increased user engagement from this technology effectively boosts inventory for content owners."

"We think Pluggd's solutions for targeting high-value ads into online video are ingenious," added Sobieski.

Speaking for Intel Capital, Vice President Angela Biever said: "Internet audio and video is rich in potential growth, but currently lacking a useful search service. Pluggd addresses that need directly."

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