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Social video advertising firm Unruly raises $25M

Ability to capture social media's impact on video drives Unruly sales to an expected $50M in 2012

Financial trends and news by Bambi Francisco Roizen
January 4, 2012 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/2334

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If you're good at making videos go viral, there's venture funding out there to be snapped up.

Unruly, a five-year-old social video advertising platform that knows how to make videos No. 1 on YouTube, announced Wednesday a $25 million Series A investment from Amadeus Capital Partners, Van den Ende & Deitmers and Business Growth Fund. 

"We provide the technology and media platform to get it (long-form content) to really big TV-scale audiences," said Scott Button, founder and CEO, in an interview, adding, "We then provide the analytics and tracking." 

The capital will be used to expand its services internationally. At the moment, about 75% of Unruly's revenue comes from outside the U.S. The London-based company, with offices in SF and NY, plans to open up offices in Chicago, Miami, Toronto, Germany and Singapore, said Button. 

Unruly may not be a household name, but some of its viral videos might be familiar. Take for instance, the “Roller Babies" campaign, which Unruly created for Evian.  In order to build buzz for the Evian's Live Young campaign, Unruly launched two teaser videos - Baby Moonwalk and Baby Break Dance - two weeks before the official launch.

For Roller Babies, Unruly tapped Twitter and Tweetmeme. The tweet was picked up and retweeted within seconds, garnering millions of views. Unruly fingerprinted the video file and crawled the Web for any social interaction, like views, comments and tweets. The result of the campaign was: 1) The video became No. 1 on YouTube 2) Held the world record for most-viewed ad online 3) 61.4 million views to date 4) More than 54,000 comments and tweets 5) More than 440,000 Facebook fans. 

Of course, these figures don't mean anything unless they result in better brand awareness and higher purchase intentions. Unruly works with survey companies that can provide that information to marketers. While Button wouldn't give specific measurements, he said that videos that spread virally create higher brand awareness for marketers. 

Indeed, Unruly, which expects revenue to triple to $32 million in its final 2011 quarter, ending March 31, is on a revenue run-rate of $50 million, based on last quarter's revenue. A campaign typically lasts for two to six weeks, and at the low end can be $20,000. At the high end, Unruly charges about $300,000 for campaigns that spread to multiple regions.

Across the Web, social video campaigns have generated 2.7 billion views in 2010 and more than eight billion last year, according to the company. They're predicted to generate 20 billion views this year. With that growth, Unruly's revenue is approaching $50 million, double Unruly's $25 million in sales generated last year.  

Among some of Unruly's competitors include GoViral, which was acquired by AOL last year for nearly $100 million and venture-backed ebuzzing. What's Unruly's competitive advantage? According to Button, Unruly has a much larger global footprint. 

Watch the Roller Babies video below:


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