Zunavision is an ad startup that has been on our radar for a while. It looks like we will be keeping tabs on them for a long time, now that they have snagged an early round of funding and launched a commercial product.
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The funding came from Stanford professor David Cheriton, who hooked up Google’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page with the VCs at Kleiner Perkins. According to Zunavision co-founder Siddharth Batra, after being pitched, Cheriton wrote a check on the spot. Zunavision wouldn’t provide a specific dollar figure, but said the early round was in the “upper five figures.”
Zunavision also officially took the wraps off its ad insertion product, which allows ads to be inserted onto the surface of objects within a video (see our previous coverage). The company is not interested in UGC content, but rather targeting professionally-created content that will be free and clear of issues that might tarnish an advertiser’s brand.
The company works with content owners, advertisers and video distributors. It plans on making money by licensing its software (for example, making it part of a video distributor’s dashboard), and revenue sharing where appropriate.
Zunavision now has four co-founder/employees and is still based out of Batra’s office at Stanford. The company will be looking for a more substantial round of funding at the end of March.
Zunavision is hardly alone in the background-ad-insertion space. Fellow newcomers vying for the same prize include Innovid and Euclid Media. Zunavision says its advantage over the competition is its ability to scale and the lightweight nature of its technology.