Video Startup That Reads Emotions Nabs $12 Million Series C Round

Affectiva, a Massachusetts-based startup whose technology measures emotional response through a Web camera, secured $12 million in Series C funding in a round backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Digital Growth Fund and Li Ka-shing’s Horizon Ventures, with participation from existing investors.  

Affectiva’s core products are Affdex, an automated facial coding platform, and Q Sensor, a wearable biometric sensor. These tools enable marketers, researchers and other businesses read the emotional response of viewers to video content.

Affdex can be integrated into both ads and video content. It uses a laptop or other device’s webcam to read the emotional response of viewers, creating an “accurate, scalable” emotional insight, which the company says can be used to improve content relevancy for publishers and optimize ad performance for marketers.

Researchers can use Affectiva’s Q Sensor to collect and analyze consumer data. The company says that hundreds of universities and research institutions are already using the technology to develop healthcare apps.

“Capturing and viewing online video has become mainstream. The ability to effectively measure real-time emotion while consumers are watching video has the potential to improve online engagement and satisfaction for users in addition to creating opportunities for marketers to more effectively determine what consumers care most about,” Kleiner Perkins’ Mary Meeker said in a statement.

Affectiva was originally a Massachusetts Institute of Technology project founded in 2009 by professor Rosalind W. Picard and research scientist Rana el Kaliouby.


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