New Fund MathCapital To Provide Seed Funding; Viacom Acquires WhoSay

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Something Ventured

MediaMath CEO Joe Zawadzki and Undertone co-founder Eric Franchi are starting a $5 million fund, MathCapital, to invest in industry startups, Lara O’Reilly reports for CMO Today. It’s a modest sum, with a slightly more ambitious fundraising target of $25 million. MathCapital’s sweet spot will be seed-stage investments of around $200,000. “The list of things un-done is longer than the list of things done in terms of finishing this journey,” Zawadzki says about the new fund. More. Related in AdExchanger: NYC-based “ad tech investorpreneurs” have emerged as a key lifeline for early stage ad companies [AdExchanger coverage].  

Influencer Investment

After partnering for two years with the influencer marketing platform WhoSay, Viacom has acquired the company to boost its social and branded content offering just in time for CES. Viacom CEO Bob Bakish has attempted to regain clout with younger audiences by partnering with platforms such as Snapchat. The company has used WhoSay to execute more than 50 cross-platform campaigns across MTV and BET properties and plans to integrate WhoSay’s platform with its suite of ad tools. Read the release.

Paying Its Way

Google has consolidated its online payment technologies, including Android Pay, Chrome browser auto-payment info and Google Play Store app purchases, into a product called Google Pay, the company announced in a blog post. Mobile wallets remain a marginal part of overall commerce, but made big consumer gains last year. Apple Pay adoption in particular has proven a support beam for audience value on Safari and in the Apple App Store, since users of the iOS auto-payment are more likely to convert on a mobile ad or make in-app-purchases. Google Play has twice the downloads and half the revenue of the App Store, so this could help boost its per-user value. More at Bloomberg.

Must-See TV

Disney-ABC and Accenture released a joint study Monday identifying the factors driving outsized ROI in television advertising. Higher ratings (aka more viewers) correlate to ROI because top shows reach a scaled audience and are considered better content. But other factors drive weighted returns. Two shows with similar overall ratings can have very different ROIs. Programs viewers prioritize watching, for instance, result in better returns than shows that collect less keenly interested viewers (like syndicated reruns). Strong social media engagement from viewers can as much as double the value of a campaign.

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