May 18 2021
Media Coverage

WSJ: VideoAmp Taps Paul Ross as CFO & Raises $75 Million

Ad-tech company wants to expand its share of the digital and traditional media measurement pie

by Alexandra Bruell

Advertising-technology company VideoAmp Inc. has raised $75 million and tapped a new finance chief, a sign the company is ramping up its expansion efforts in the fast-changing industry.

Paul Ross, a former chief financial officer of Trade Desk Inc., another ad-tech business, succeeds Robert Leff in the CFO role. Mr. Leff has moved into the newly created position of chief investment officer.

VideoAmp, which was founded in 2014 and which helps brands plan and measure their ad campaigns across digital and traditional TV systems, said that it raised $50 million in debt financing from investment firm Capital IP Investment Partners LLC and that it can draw a further $25 million.

VideoAmp said its goal is to hire engineers and employees in client-services roles to quickly expand its infrastructure and capture a larger chunk of the media-measurement pie.

“As dollars are shifting and going into other channels that are fragmented, like streaming, there’s more of a need for a unified view of those audiences,” said co-founder and Chief Executive Ross McCray. “Covid actually accelerated the fundamentals of that. We want to continue to hire and invest to go after the land grab of measurement,” he said.

Paul Ross is the new CFO of VideoAmp Inc.

Newcomers like VideoAmp see an opportunity to gain share in the traditional TV-measurement industry led by Nielsen as consumers’ use of streaming services accelerates and marketers and networks increasingly look for fresh ways to stitch together results across their traditional and newer digital systems.

Head count and revenue are on track to double this year from last year, VideoAmp said, without giving a 2020 revenue figure. The company employs around 200 people.

VideoAmp expects to exceed $80 million in revenue this year, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The company works with large ad agencies, including Omnicom Group Inc. and Dentsu Inc., as well as media companies NBCUniversal, A+E Networks and AMC Networks. It is in talks with other media companies as it seeks to expand its relationships with ad sellers.

The ad-tech company historically has generated about 80% of its revenue from ad buyers, but by the end of next year it hopes for an even split in revenue generated from buyers and sellers, it said.

Ross McCray, co-founder and CEO of VideoAmp Inc.

“VideoAmp at its current stage reminds me a lot of the Trade Desk back in 2014 and 2015,” said Mr. Ross, who retired from that company last year. “They’re just at the beginning of that exponential growth curve,” he said.

Trade Desk is among the ad-tech companies experiencing growth with the acceleration of digital media and streaming, as well as changes in ad targeting and new privacy rules.

A number of digital-ad and marketing-technology companies have gone public in recent months, including Viant Technology Inc., AppLovin Corp. and DoubleVerify Holdings Inc. Deals in the sector, such as Vista Equity Partners taking a majority stake in TripleLift Inc., indicate interest in ad tech is heating up.

Ad-tech companies need to focus on offerings in line with changes to privacy rules and the uptick in streaming, Mr. McCray said. “Those who evolve quickly to that and adhere to that will do well for themselves.”