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San Francisco-based online video ad network LiveRail just nabbed $500,000 in a first round of funding led by Pond Venture Partners. Like almost every other video advertising network, it claims to help its clients target, optimize and track the performance of their ads on a constellation of other web sites. But it’s also set itself up as an authority on the industry, having issued a report in September predicting 55 percent growth in web video advertising, and asserting that Hulu will eventually become more successful than YouTube.

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