Seattle-area startup iSpot has raised more cash to fuel growth of its technology platform that measures TV advertisement performance.
The company on Wednesday announced a $30 million investment round led by existing backers Insight Venture Partners and Madrona Venture Group, bringing total funding to date to more than $57 million.
Founded in 2012, iSpot helps more than 200 brands — BMW, Target, T-Mobile, Microsoft, etc. — measure TV advertising across various viewing formats in real time. The fresh cash will be used as “acceleration capital,” said iSpot CEO and founder Sean Muller, who was named EY’s Pacific Northwest Entrepreneur of the Year in 2018.
“We are getting a substantially larger valuation than last round and excess growth capital to fuel our increasing lead in the TV ad measurement marketplace,” he told GeekWire. “More specifically, this growth financing helps accelerate our goal of becoming the largest, most trusted, truly independent third-party measurement company for the world’s largest brands.”
iSpot’s technology can automatically determine when ads are appearing and which ones are resonating with viewers. It sells three core products: TV ad impression validation, TV attention measurement, and TV conversion and attribution, which connects ad exposure to business outcomes. Its data comes from broadcast and cable networks, in addition to more than 10 million smart TVs.
For example, on this Microsoft ad for its Surface Go product, iSpot is able to measure all airings, estimated spend, TV impressions across national/local/OTT/VOD, and performance analytics such as earned online views, social impressions, sentiment, and industry share of voice.
The company’s competitors include Realytics, Conversion Logic, Survata, and others. It also competes with legacy measurement systems such as Nielsen.
Muller said iSpot differentiates itself by delivering precise and structured data in real-time. He added that trends including fragmentation of TV and the growth of digital are driving more usage of iSpot’s software, which can measure the most digitally-engaging ads and biggest TV ad spenders.
iSpot has increased annual revenue by 14 times since it last raised venture capital in 2015. The company employs 154 people and expects to surpass 200 next year.
“Becoming a trusted, truly independent third-party measurement company for the world’s largest brands is a difficult process very few have accomplished in the last few decades,” Jeff Lieberman, managing director at Insight Venture Partners, said in a statement. “iSpot has proven that they are a clear leader in their market with their current suite of innovative measurement products.”