Virool, a year-old San Francisco-based video advertising startup, has closed on $6.62 million in funding from a long list of investors in what the company claims is the biggest seed round raised so far by a graduate of the the Y Combinator incubator program. (Virool came out of the program last summer.) The company’s institutional investors include Draper Fisher Juvetson and Menlo Ventures; individuals who contributed to the funding include Paul Buchheit, Dave McClure, and Yuri Milner.
Virool is a self-service social video advertising platform. It helps advertisers reach people they desire with their videos by promoting them inside Facebook games, mobile apps, blogs and websites. It works with publishers, who are paid for every video they show inside their properties.
“We have created the most effective and engaging advertising solution available on the market today. With an overwhelming advertiser demand, we realized that what we are building is much larger than we ever thought. We went out and raised our Seed Round from the best group of investors possible, who share our vision of market domination” said Alex Debelov, Virool’s co-founder and CEO.
Virool has received funding from some of the best strategic investors in the space. Institutional investors that participated in this round include: Thomvest Ventures, Menlo Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Phenomenon Ventures, TMT Investments, DominateFund and FundersClub.
Individual investors include: Loopt Co-Founder Sam Altman, Creator of Gmail Paul Buchheit, Lady Gaga’s Manager Troy Carter, Super Angel Dave McClure, former Yahoo! Chief Technology Officer Farzad (Zod) Nazem, Early Zappos Investor Erik Moore, Promus Ventures Founder Mike Collett and Posterous Co-Founder Garry Tan.
The company will use the funding to expand adoption of its platform. Virool has grown from 200 to more than 30,000 customers since its launch in March, 2012. Customers range from small businesses, independent musicians and filmmakers to some of the most recognized brands in the world. Some of the bigger clients include: Intel, Samsung, K-Swiss, Sony and Orbitz.
Many social video ad platforms require a minimum of $100,000 to promote sponsored video content, making this type of advertising inaccessible for all but the largest advertisers. Virool allows anyone to leverage this distribution channel and start a video campaign for as little as $10. Advertisers only pay when someone watches their content for 30 seconds or longer. Today, the company reaches 750,000 people every day and more than 22 million per month.
Advertisers have access to real-time analytics, which reveal who is watching their video, where and on which platform.