The Series B round for Witherspoon’s Draper James brand was led by San Francisco-based Forerunner Ventures.
Invision and FreeWheel are teaming up to support cross-channel ad sales.
Integrated technology from Invision Inc., a provider of advertising planning and sales applications, and FreeWheel, which connects ads to online videos, will let media companies manage the sale of advertising inventory across TV and web sites, the companies say.
The deal, though not unique in the advertising world, underscores the power and potential of cross-media advertising optimization and the importance of the future course of TV and online video integration, according to Ivan Markman, chief operating officer of MarketShare Partners, a marketing consulting firm.
"FreeWheel was founded on the principle that video is video, whether you're watching on a broadcast schedule or on-demand; whether it's on a television, a PC, or a portable device," says Jonathan Heller, co-founder and co-CEO of FreeWheel. "The challenge has been that this kind of cross-channel viewing, especially at scale, creates significant logistical problems for the world's leading media companies.” FreeWheel’s clients include media companies Discovery Communications, Warner Brothers and ESPN. Discovery Communications is the parent company of The Discovery Channel, No. 214 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.
FreeWheel will integrate its video monetization rights management system with Invision’s DealMaker ad sales planning system, enabling media companies to plan and manage ad campaigns that run across both TV and online video.
"As the industry moves rapidly towards media convergence, media companies have had to manage their inventory across multiple platforms using multiple disparate systems,” says Invision CEO Lynda Clarizio. “Our first-of-its-kind integration with FreeWheel will enable Invision and FreeWheel customers to sell their inventory across both television and online video in one connected system." Invision’s clients include Hallmark Channel, Sony Pictures Television, NBC Universal, Warner Brothers and The Weather Channel.