FreeWheel raises $16.8 million

Chris Caceres · April 26, 2010 · Short URL:

San Mateo-based startup sees significant round from Steamboat Ventures, Turner and others

FreeWheel, a video ad firm, announced it has closed $16.8 million in funding.  Disney's Steamboat Ventures, Turner Broadcasting System, Battery Ventures and Foundation Capital all participated in the round.  The company has raised a total of $28.8 million to date.

The startup offers video monetization solutions.  It's technology helps media companies and content distributors manage ad sales, deliver ads, and provide stats on video performance.  It works with several destination sites including YouTube and and lets publishers distribute their campaigns across these sites.  

The San Mateo, Ca.-based company was founded by a handful of former DoubleClick executives, and since 2007 has come up quite a bit.  It has high profile clients including Turner, VEVO,, Warner Bros, CBS, and Discovery Communications.  

One of its focuses is to offer technologies that address the TV Everywhere initiative, which includes an advanced commercial break pattern management tool.  In case you're unfamiliar, TV Everywhere is an initiative sparked by Comcast and Time Warner that is somewhat an authentication system that lets a cable subscriber watch premium content online.  

"Multiple screens and their ability to distribute information are everywhere, and digital video growth remains a key element of Turner's overall digital strategy," said David Levy, president of sales, distribution and sports, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. "FreeWheel's ability to effectively serve video ads for our leading online digital brands will further enhance Turner's ability to maximize revenue potential. We're confident that our alliance will not only protect our content investment but also enable new business opportunities."

Along with the funding, FreeWheel announced formalized agreements with ESPN and Discovery on Monday.  

The startup said it would use the funds to further scale its infrastructure to support new and existing clients, expand that infrastructure globally, and continue to innovate with new products to solve the converging video industry's biggest pain points.

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FreeWheel offers the most formidable system for digital video ad management and monetization. Built from the ground up by a handful of former DoubleClick executives, FreeWheel's solution-set has already armed companies like Turner Broadcasting System, Warner Brothers, CBS, VEVO, Discovery Communications, and others with the tools and services necessary to make more money from their video content. For more information, please visit: Follow us on Twitter @FreeWheeldotTV.