Playbuzz has raised $35 million in funding from investors including Disney for its sponsored social content. Playbuzz provides sponsored links at the bottom of news stories and other web content, helping publishers and content creators distribute their material in ways that boost engagement and social distribution.
The funding was led by Viola Growth, with participation from existing investors including Disney, Saban Ventures, 83North, Carmel Ventures, Firstime, and angel investor Oded Vardi. To date, the company has raised $66 million.
Playbuzz will use the investment to expand its global footprint, with a focus on its branded content business, which works with Fortune 500 brands to create, distribute, and measure native advertising campaigns.
Playbuzz will increase its focus on helping publishers drive revenue, bringing its technology, expertise, and understanding of content consumption habits to monetized content solutions.
“Working with top media companies over the last 5 years has put us in a unique position to understand their pain points and develop innovative technology to solve them,” said Shaul Olmert, CEO of Playbuzz, in a statement. “Playbuzz’s evolution into providing monetized content solutions to publishers and brands is of substantial value to our partners in their effort to increase readers’ attention spans and content viewability. Moving forward, Playbuzz will continue to drive engagement with interactive storytelling tools while answering partners’ content, revenue and data needs all in one place.”
The Playbuzz platform lets content creators and publishers in the network share their content on other sites, with no extra design or development work. Top brands use it to create interactive branded content campaigns that Playbuzz then distributes at scale to its existing network of 13,000 publishers.
Playbuzz’s topic, tone, and audience-agnostic tools power over 12,000 engagements per minute and are proven to boost audience engagement, garnering metrics high above industry standards, such as averaging session times of two to four minutes (as compared to the 15-second industry average).
Olmert started the New York-based company in 2012, and it has 150 employees.