Pay-TV provider Sky announced on Monday that it has invested $10 million in DataXu, a Boston-based firm that offers analytics and tools for programmatic ads.
With the investment, Sky’s ad sales division, Sky Media, will work with DataXu to extend the reach of
its ad platform Sky AdVance; leverage DataXu’s experience in helping advertisers to buy addressable TV ads programmatically; and harness the power
of data and analytics to drive marketing results.
Ed Montes, CRO, DataXu, said his company had been talking to U.K.-based Sky as a potential client for several months. A sales opportunity evolved into a partnership, and Sky decided to make an investment in the ad tech company. Montes added that the $10 million investment was made from a product innovation and collaboration standpoint and wasn't a pure funding round.
The investment does not come with conditions and is not earmarked to be spent in any particular way, Montes said. He added that the money doesn't really change anything that DataXu is already doing from a product, roadmap or geographic perspective.
In terms of what DataXu plans to do with the funds, Montes said it will continue to focus on improving data and analytics. That's where the friction point is, he said -- not in the buying and selling of ads. "What we really wanted to do was take advantage of opportunity... for targeting, data and insight," he added.
Sky claims its annual revenues total more than £11 billion and is Europe's leading investor in television content, with a programming budget of £4.9 billion. DataXu's investors include Accomplice, Flybridge Capital Partners, Menlo Ventures and Thomvest Ventures. DataXu has now raised nearly $76 million in funding, including a $27 million round in 2013 led by Thomvest Ventures. Prevous Sky investments include TV4 Entertainment, Roku, Jaunt and Pluto TV.