New backers include Brazilian-Israeli VC firm Initial Capital, Dave McClure’s 500 Startups, American-Israeli firm Rhodium and Grupo RBS’ new digital holding e.Bricks Digital (see our previous post). Before today’s round, Samba Ads had already received angel investment from Groupon Brasil’s founder and former CEO, Florian Otto.
Samba Ads was founded in 2012 as a spin-off to SaaS online video platform Samba Tech, which was co-founded by its CEO, Rodrigo Paolucci. He commented on the deal (translation ours):
We selected each investor strategically, based on their experience with ad-related businesses, which will add up to our knowledge of the local market. This will be a unique contribution to put Samba Ads in position to lead Latin America’s promising online video ad business.
According to the company, over 100 million video ads have already been delivered via its network on behalf of Latin American and global advertisers. More importantly, it is convinced that most of the market’s growth is still to come, as Internet penetration and online ad spend are fast increasing across the region. This represents an opportunity for video ads, Samba Tech’s CEO Gustavo Caetano explains (translation ours):
Online video advertising is already a reality. We are in a transition period between evangelization of the sector and mass adoption of this type of advertising by agencies and media buyers. Samba Ads new round will certainly contribute to the startup’s growth and to the market’s maturation.
While there’s no doubt that other players will show interest in this opportunity, Samba Ads hopes to capture a fair share of this market by focusing on premium clients and offering them advanced segmenting tools, as well as interactive video ad formats to keep viewers engaged.