Social video company Unruly has today announced a $25m round of funding as global online ad spend is set to reach $110bn by 2014 – and online video is predicted to be the fastest growing category within this.
Across the industry, social video campaigns generated 2.7bn views throughout 2010, more than 8bn in 2011 and this is predicted to grow to 20bn for 2012.
The funding comes from Amadeus Capital Partners and Van den Ende & Deitmers, with participation from Business Growth Fund, and will be used to accelerate growth. Unruly’s CEO Scott Button told VentureBeat that the company has been profitable for three years, but that he thought the money would be useful to accelerate international expansion.
Since Unruly’s inception in London in 2006, the company has delivered, tracked and audited 1.34bn video views and executed over 1,400 campaigns for the likes of Old Spice, Samsung, Heineken, T-Mobile and Coca-Cola. The company is a whitelisted Facebook partner and its video ad charts are syndicated to Mashable, The Guardian, Adweek, Die Welt and the IAB.
With revenues of $50m, its most memorable campaigns include Evian’s ‘Roller Babies’, T-Mobile’s ‘Life’s for Sharing’, Coca Cola’s ‘Happiness Factory’ series, Google’s ‘Search Stories’ and Old Spice’s ‘Man Your Man Could Smell Like’.
The company explains that though brands and agencies have now recognised the power of social video, media fragmentation and device proliferation make it extremely difficult to reach audiences at scale. Unruly solves this problem by providing a global media and technology platform for social video advertising that reaches 725m people across 74 countries.
Richard Anton, partner at Amadeus Capital Partners, said that this proprietary technology – combined with an aggressive global growth strategy in a fast-growing market – was impressive.
We are delighted to be supporting the company build on its success, bringing our experience of building a number of international marketing and advertising technology companies, including Celltick, ComQi and EPiServer.”
In what looks like on a small dark cloud on an otherwise dazzling horizon, Unruly is additionally fielding allegations laid out by Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land that it helped Google to buy links from bloggers to increase the search ranking of Chrome, as we covered yesterday.
Though Google has said that it did not condone nor request the sponsored posts, digital media agency Essence Digital (who worked with Unruly on the campaign) avoided taking full responsibility - but made it clear that Google was not to blame.