Interactive ad firm BlackArrow announced this morning that it has received a strategic investment from Motorola Ventures, the investment arm of the device manufacturer. The funding could help BlackArrow, which aims to insert ads into VOD, DVR and linear TV broadcasts, to reach more cable and IPTV set-top boxes.
The amount of funding wasn’t disclosed, but BlackArrow is characterizing the Motorola cash as an extension of the $20 million Series C financing it announced earlier this year. That round showed BlackArrow is no stranger to strategic investments, as it was led by NDS and included existing investors Cisco Systems, Comcast Interactive Capital, Intel Capital, Mayfield Fund and Polaris Venture Partners.
BlackArrow is best known for creating an ad targeting system that allows pay TV operators to dynamically insert ads into video-on-demand streams. Previously, ads shown in VOD programs had to be stitched into the videos themselves and stored at the local headend, which limited the timeliness and addressability of those ads. With its investment from NDS earlier this year, BlackArrow CEO Dean Denhart told us that the company was looking beyond VOD ads to also target DVR and linear broadcast services.
The funding and interest from Motorola could help BlackArrow integrate its technology directly into the set-top box, enabling it to dynamically insert ads through whichever format they’re served. Along with Cisco, Motorola dominates set-top box sales to cable and other pay TV providers. That means BlackArrow could potentially soon serve a large number of consumer homes with its ad serving technology.
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