Euro Ad Firm VideoPlaza Receives $5M in Funding

Ad serving technology firm Videoplaza announced today that it has raised a €3.5 million ($5 million) financing round led by Nordic venture capital firms Creandum and Northzone. The company, which focuses on helping major media companies in Europe to monetize content on their web sites with video ads, has developed a platform called Monetizer, enabling publishers to manage, track, and set rules around how ads are served across different media properties.

Videoplaza already claims customers in eight European countries, having just brought on a publisher in Russia to expand into that market. Its business is particularly strong in the Nordic states, where the company serves ads for five of the top eight broadcasters, CEO Sorosh Tavakoli said in a phone interview. It also has a presence in the U.K. and France, and is looking to expand further into Western Europe, including Germany, Spain and Italy.

Videoplaza is allowing its customers to set rules for different video properties so that they can serve the maximum number of ads without turning users off. “We help their in-house sales staff sell more effectively,” Tavakoli said. “We do that by helping publishers to achieve a balance between the user experience and the value that their advertisers get, so that they can show as many ads as possible and charge as much as possible for every ad.”

Videoplaza, which was founded about two and a half years ago in Sweden, now has about 20 employees, with its headquarters and R&D center in Stockholm and additional sales offices in London and Paris. The latest funding comes on top of a €420,000 ($667,802) round of financing from Creandum and angel investors that Videoplaza raised in mid-2008. With the latest round, Tavakoli says the company expects to double its headcount by the end of the year, adding more sales people throughout Europe and continuing to invest in its ad serving technology.

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