People are still weary when they see video ads on their mobile devices, and for good reason. A video ad, unlike a banner ad or display ad, is hard to ignore. That is why services like in-app video advertising platform Vungle are so necessary. They allow developers to run their ads smoothly, without being overbearing or annoying.
Vungle has now raised $17 million in Series B funding, the company announced on Thursday. The round was led by Thomvest Ventures with participation from existing investors Crosslink Capital, Google Ventures, AOL Ventures, SoftTech VC, and Webb Investment Network.
Vungle previously raised $2 million in seed funding in May of 2012 and it then raised $6.5 million in Series A funding last year, This latest round brings the total investment in Vungle up to $25.5 million.
The funding will go building out a suite of monetization tools for mobile app developers, Vungle CEO Zain Jaffer told me in an interview.
The first of those tools is Vungle Exchange, which is currently in its final stages. The app will connect brands and developers, in order to help developers generate maximum revenue by only showing performance ads only to users who will respond to them, while displaying brand ads to everyone else.
"For brands, it can hard to reach consumers if they are running video ads," Jaffer said. "A lot of networks are trying to traffic video ads, but it cant happen at scale. This Exchange will allow them to frictionlessly buy on the platform."
Through the old way of doing things, a big brand had to hire a sales team, then go with a bunch of different networks, in order to reach different users, he said. Now they can reach hundreds of millions of users at scale, across multiple devices.
"Our vision for how future looks is that apps will be everywhere, all around you," Jaffer told me. "Every environment will be monetizable because there will be a screen there."
"We see a future where advertising has be engaging and immersive, and pushing on what's possible."
Vungle Exchange is just the first step toward Vungle getting closer to that goal.
San Francisco-based Vungle, which was an AngelPad graduate in the fall 2011, is a mobile video ad-network that powers some of the world’s largest apps and games.
The company allows app developers to be able to monetize their apps through 15-second, HD videos that integrate into their apps without being disruptive.
Vungle's technology has already solved two problems that plague advertisers trying to get their videos onto mobile: it ensures that the videos play quickly, and that users do not get bored due to slow connections; and it also optimizes creative downloads so that it does not disrupt the viewer's data plan.
Vungle videos can be viewed on both the iOS and Android platforms.
In As part of today's announcement, the company is opening an office in Berlin and another in Asia in the coming months. This geographic expansion is coupled with a team growth strategy in a plan to triple headcount across all areas of the business.
The company currently has over two billion video views, and gets over 100 million unique viewers every month. Its clients include Scopely, Gameloft, Mobjoy, Ngmoco:), Sega and ZeptoLab.
(Image source: http://www.vungle.com)