Virool, a San Francisco startup that specializes in social video advertising, has raised $6.62 million in an early round of funding.
Virool positions its advertising technology as a cost-effective alternative to big-budget social ad platforms. Instead of spending upwards of $100,000 -- the minimum required by its rivals, according to the company -- marketers can launch a video campaign starting at $10.
In a FAQ, Virool describes the self-service social ad platform's reach and how ad revenue is doled out.
"We promote videos to targeted audience through our network of blogs, social games and mobile apps. We help advertisers reach people they desire with their videos by promoting them inside Facebook games, mobile apps and blogs. We work with publishers, who we pay for every video they show inside their properties."
Advertisers don't get shortchanged if viewers don't stick around. They pay only if a viewer watches their ads for 30 seconds or longer. Virool also provides advertisers real-time analytics for insights into an ad's reach.
So far, the company's approach seems to be working.
The company reports that since its launch less than a year ago, it has gone from 200 customers to over 30,000. Big name clients include Intel, Samsung, K-Swiss and Sony. Overall, Virool reaches over 22 million people each month.
Maintaining that kind of momentum requires capital, according to Virool co-founder and CEO Alex Debelov.
"With an overwhelming advertiser demand, we realized that what we are building is much larger than we ever thought. We went out and raised our Seed Round from the best group of investors possible, who share our vision of market domination," said Debelov in a company statement.
Thomvest Ventures, Menlo Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Phenomenon Ventures, TMT Investments, DominateFund and FundersClub participated in the round. Notable industry personalities contributed as well, including Loopt co-founder Sam Altman, Gmail creator Paul Buchheit and Posterous co-founder Garry Tan.
In recent months, venture capitalists have been pouring funds into technology startups that serve marketers.
Persado, a marketing and Web advertising software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider, closed on a round of funding worth $15 million this week. Also this week, Sailthru raised $19 million for an automated "smart data" platform that delivers personalized customer communications. Last week, Boston-based DataXu announced it had attracted $27 million for its automated ad targeting technology.