BlackArrow raises $20M, partners with NDS
Video-on-demand advanced advertising vendor BlackArrow added another $20 million to its coffers, thanks to its latest round of financing, and also formed a partnership with lead investor NDS Group.
Other Series C investors included Cisco Systems, Comcast Interactive Capital, Intel Capital, Mayfield Fund and Polaris Venture partners, all of which contributed in the previous two rounds of financing. BlackArrow CEO Dean Denhart said the company has raised $58 million to date. While NDS was the lead investor in this round, Denhart said the previous investors came in at the maximum amounts, but a breakdown of those amounts wasn’t available.
With its investment, NDS became a top shareholder in BlackArrow, and the two companies also announced they’ve formed a strategic alliance to develop joint solutions for advanced TV advertising.
“I think the unique value proposition for the two companies is that BlackArrow has historically been in the network-based solutions end, which allows to us to be able to support video-on-demand, RS DVR, or network-based DVR, and the Internet world,” Denhart said. “NDS has been extremely successful at the set-top box level, so when you marry those two together, you create something that hasn’t been done before, and on top of that you connect not only the operators, but also the programmers.”
The two companies will work on an end-to-end platform to enable placement, execution and measurement of advanced TV advertisements. The new agreement gives BlackArrow a global presence, while NDS gains entry into the more advanced United States advertising market, as well as to BlackArrow’s software and expertise for international markets.
“We’ve been having conversations together over the last couple of years,” said Jesper Knutsson, vice president and general manager of NDS Americas. “We knew of BlackArrow and all of the progress they’re making in advanced advertising. We did a joint demo at one of the CableLabs interops in November that showed our products working together.
“We have knowledge of each other’s systems and have worked in depth on how to integrate them. We haven’t yet announced any customers we’re jointly working on.”
The two companies said BlackArrow's multiplatform campaign management and ad decisioning services mesh well with NDS' advanced advertising platform, NDS Dynamic, which provides solutions to identify, measure and engage audiences, all of which provided the framework for the alliance.