Social Video Ads: Unruly receives $25m in funding

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Unruly, a global technology platform for social video advertising, today announced a $25 million Series A investment from Amadeus Capital Partners, Van den Ende & Deitmers and Business Growth Fund. The financing is probably the largest ever for a private company in the social video space and will be used to accelerate international growth and cement Unruly’s position as a global leader in this fast-growing area.

With a revenue run-rate approaching $50 million (2011 full year revenue $25 million) and profitable since 2009, Unruly has 100 staff across nine offices (hq in London) and is doubling in size each year. The young company, which was founded in 2006, has delivered a number of high profile social video campaigns for global brands, including Evian’s “Roller Babies,” T-Mobile’s “Welcome Home,” Coca Cola’s “Happiness Factory” series and many more (check out the video below for an example).

According to Unruly, social video campaigns across the industry generated 2.7 billion views in 2010, more than 8 billion views in 2011 and are predicted to generate 20 billion views in 2012. Brands and agencies have started to recognize the power of social video to make an emotional connection with their audience, influence consumers and ignite conversations. However, media fragmentation and device proliferation make it kind of difficult to do this at the scale they require. Unruly aims to solve this problem by providing a truly global media and technology platform for social video advertising that reaches 725 million people across 74 countries.

Unruly’s proprietary technology, RAMP (Real-time Amplification and Measurement Platform), powers the entire social video campaign lifecycle. Unruly is a whitelisted Facebook partner and its video ad charts are syndicated to major outlets, including Mashable, The Guardian, Adweek, Die Welt and the IAB.

Unruly founder and Group CEO Scott Button stated in relation to the financing: “Five years ago, we set out to help brands capture the massive opportunity in social video and we’re delighted that such a distinguished group of investors share our conviction.”

“With global online ad spend set to reach $110 billion by 2014 and online video ad spend predicted to be the fastest growing category, we believe Unruly is strongly positioned to be the winner in the global social video market,” said Martijn Hamann, Partner of Van den Ende & Deitmers.

“In a short space of time, Unruly has played a major role in the explosive growth of social video and this investment gives it additional firepower,” said Marion Bernard, Regional Director of BGF. “We look forward to working with the company and our co-investors to take advantage of the very significant global expansion opportunities.”

Here is an example of a viral video ad that has been launched in a partnership between T-Mobile and Unruly. The social video ad reached about 3 million Youtube users in only 2 weeks.