NextMedium, developer and operator of the world's first brand integration advertising platform, announced a $6 million Series B financing led by Bessemer Venture Partners. Bessemer, whose recent investments have included Skype (acquired by eBay), Flarion (acquired by QUALCOMM), and Blue Nile, is the nation's oldest venture capital practice. Series A investors Ascend Venture Group, LLC and Globespan Capital Partners also participated in the round.
NextMedium's innovative Audited Brand Integration platform takes product placement to the next level by creating a reliable, scalable, and measurable system for selling targeted exposures to brands. Producers propose integrations, advertisers bid for them, and the director selects the brand, incorporating creative concerns.
"We're committed to enabling a vastly improved brand integration model in a rapidly evolving advertising landscape," said Hamet Watt, CEO of NextMedium, "We're thrilled to welcome Bessemer into our community of investors, partners, advisors and early customers recruited from among the most successful media franchises."
David Cowan of Bessemer Venture Partners, whom Forbes has ranked among the top ten venture investors, joined the NextMedium board of directors. Cowan, who co-founded VeriSign, has made 43 early-stage investments for Bessemer, including 19 that have gone public and 16 that have been acquired by public companies.
NextMedium's other board members include Darryl Walsh, managing partner at Ascend Venture Group, and Jonathan Seelig, founder of Akamai (AKAM) and general partner at Globespan Capital Partners.
"Technology in the form of PVRs, pay-per-view, downloads and web streaming is killing the value of the 30-second spot for brand advertisers," Cowan said. "That's why we set out to fund the team that can offer brands a reliable, scalable, and measurable alternative, with comparable reach and recall. Simply put, NextMedium is the Google of audited, branded integration."
According to Nielsen Media Research, brand integration and product placement activity in 2005 alone was worth $2 billion. NextMedium's Embed(TM) represents the industry's push toward standardization of the buying and selling process. This is accomplished via a new trading marketplace that enables a more streamlined, measurable brand integration model. For entertainment companies, NextMedium's platform will allow them to better respond to the changing needs of their advertiser customers. For advertising companies, NextMedium's innovations allow them to explore more contextually relevant ways to connect with their customers through entertainment.
NextMedium develops and operates Embed, the world's first brand integration platform. Advertising and entertainment companies have been challenged with a need to better understand and utilize brand integration as an alternative or an augmentation to traditional ad forms. NextMedium is working with the industry to provide solutions and a common trading platform for buying, selling, and measuring brand integration through a collaboration with Nielsen Media Research.
Embed facilitates contextually relevant advertising (brand integration) across multiple entertainment vehicles, including television, film, video games, and music. Embed generates new revenue streams for entertainment companies, while allowing advertisers to unobtrusively reach target audiences with measurable results, audited by Nielsen data.
NextMedium is based in Los Angeles, CA. www.nextmedium.com.
About Bessemer Venture Partners
Bessemer Venture Partners is the oldest venture capital practice in the United States. With offices in Silicon Valley, Boston, New York, Shanghai and Mumbai, the firm manages more than a billion dollars of venture capital, carrying on a tradition of hands-on, active venture investing that has continued since 1911. Over 100 Bessemer companies have gone public, including American Superconductor, Ciena, Gartner Group, Ingersoll Rand, International Paper, Maxim, Parametric, PerSeptive Biosystems, Staples, VeriSign, Veritas and W.R. Grace. For more information, please visit www.bvp.com.
About Globespan Capital
Globespan Capital Partners is a leading global venture capital firm investing in information technology companies. The firm is focused on a balanced investment strategy across all segments of the IT sector. With offices in Boston and Palo Alto, as well as a business development office in Tokyo, Globespan is uniquely positioned in the US venture capital industry to provide portfolio companies access to global markets, customers, and partners. For more information, please visit www.globespancapital.com.
About Ascend Venture Group
Ascend Venture Group, LLC is a private investment management firm headquartered in New York City. Ascend combines highly sophisticated financial expertise with unique access to investment opportunities to create attractive risk/reward portfolios and partnerships for its investors. The firm targets investment opportunities in the applied technology and for-profit education industries. For more information, please visit www.ascendventures.com.