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Let’s say you’re Sam’s Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning in Elmhurst, Illinois.
You want to advertise to Elmhurst-area adults aged 35 to 65 who own homes. Your ad agency takes you to a local TV station to buy on-air ads for programs hitting that target group, and that sell local time.
Because the station has a deal with ExtendTV, you can also buy pre-roll video or display ads on the Web, on mobile web, in apps, and on Internet-connected TVs that target the same group — say, ads on Weather.com for the Elmhurst area.
But if you went to Weather.com directly to buy the local ads, ExtendTV CEO and cofounder Mark Goldman told me, they “wouldn’t take the call.”
That’s the market ExtendTV is after.
Today, the San Francisco-based company is announcing it has raised $4.4 million and signed a deal to act as the exclusive local online ad platform for the Sinclair Broadcast Group of TV stations. This extends a test in three markets by Sinclair to a long-term contract for 79 markets. Sinclair is also the lead investor in this new series B round, which includes participation from U.S. Venture Partners.
Adtech based on high-frequency trading
The company is also changing its name to ZypMedia. Goldman said the new brand is intended to reflect the speed of its demand-side and real-time bidding platform for advertisers — modeled on high-frequency stock trading — and to allude to localizing zip codes.
While Sam’s Plumbing could approach other automated online/mobile ad platforms, Goldman said many of them are simply not interested in small local orders.
Some networks, like Centro, do offer local ads — but, Goldman pointed out, his company won Sinclair’s business.
Working through a local TV station for on-air and online ad buys to the same audience — what Goldman calls “selling eyeballs on any device” — is simpler for the advertiser. It also means, of course, that ZypMedia has access to local stations’ sales forces; plus, the Sinclair deal adds that industry giant’s 2500+ salespeople. In markets where there is no TV station tie-in, ZypMedia will sell directly.
Founded in the summer of 2013, the company launched a beta version in April of last year, and the release version came out this past April. The Sinclair deal was also signed in April 2015, and Goldman said his company has doubled its revenues month-over-month for every month since. It is also increasing the types of digital ads it will offer.
To date, ZypMedia has received a total investment of $6.9 million. The new money will be used to scale up the business from its current 20 markets to about 100 markets, with a full U.S. rollout planned within the next 12 months.
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