Fuisz Media Raises $10M To Staff Up And Go Global

fuiszFuisz Media, a company that creates interactive video ads for brands like Nike, Dell and Victoria’s Secret, has raised $10 million in a Series A round led by Evolution Media Partners.

Ross Levinsohn, who served as interim CEO of Yahoo and president of Fox Interactive, and Ian Doody, principal at Evolution Media Capital, have joined the company’s board of directors.

Fuisz creates interactive video overlays that are compatible with most mobile and video ad servers and exchanges, according to founder and CEO Justin Fuisz.

“Commerce is one facet we enable, but the majority of what we do is pull forward Twitter and Instagram and branded experiences right into the video ad, so you can intertwine commerce and social,” he said. “As a consumer, you don’t have banners and pop-ups flying at you hoping to bait you into a click.”

Instead, Fuisz’s technology identifies images and products within the ad, allowing the consumer to hover over a product and choose to “learn more” or take another action.

For instance, it created an interactive unit for Cover Girl overlaid in 30-second pre-roll ads. 

Cover Girl had a promotional partnership for the film “Pitch Perfect 2,” so the ad let consumers hover over lipsticks and eyeliner and “shop now” through Walmart.com, pre-order the movie on iTunes or receive $2 off any two Cover Girl products through Instagram.

Brands use Fuisz’ text and shoppable overlays to help draw people deeper into their videos, expanding a five- or six-second experience into two minutes of watch time, Fuisz said.

With autoplay video becoming the rule rather than the exception, brands are developing creative that uniquely fits the parameters of platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

“The autoplay stuff is fascinating, but everyone sort of pushes their own agenda for what is a legitimate view and how long videos should actually be,” Fuisz said, adding the company is developing tools designed to increase engagement with autoplay video ads.

He intends for these new tools to share data with brands around user journeys, showing when engagement was highest, time spent on content and what actions viewers took after watching the video.

Fuisz employs 40, but will use its new injection to grow its headcount to 70 by the end of the year, bulking up both on product engineers and sales resources. The company also plans to pursue international development.


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