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Eyeview, Which Turns a Single Video Ad Into Thousands of Video Ads, Raises More Money

Marker LLC puts $15 million into the ad tech startup.

Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

A big reason that advertisers like TV is its mass reach — you buy one ad, on one network, and you can reach millions of people.

And a big reason advertisers like the Internet is because of its specificity — in theory, you pluck a single person out of the Web and deliver a message tailored just for him or her.

Oren Harnevo says he can combine the two ideas.

His Eyeview startup promises marketers that it can create dozens, or tens of thousands, of versions of a single video ad — and pick the right one to show a Web surfer, in real time. There are a bunch of companies that do something similar with conventional display ads, but Harnevo says it’s hard to translate that idea into video.

Investors seem to like the pitch. Over the last six years, Harnevo has raised $19.5 million. Now he’s adding another $15 million, all of which comes from Marker LLC, which had already backed the company.

Marker seems to like investing in Israeli tech founders, like Harnevo, who have migrated to New York; other companies in its portfolio that fit that description include Taboola, Wochit and Interlude.

Harnevo says the new money will go into tech that will help automate his product as well as add more sales and marketing help. He has also hired West Naze, a longtime News Corp. executive, to help on the sales side.

Here’s a brief demo video that shows off the kind of custom work Eyeview can do. Eyeview doesn’t create the ads, but creates custom animations that can have thousands of different versions. All of those get stored in the cloud, and then are shown to different Web users, at different times, depending on who they are and what they’re doing.

And if Harnevo’s name sounds familiar, there’s a good reason for that: His older brother is Ran Harnevo, who built 5Min, another video ad tech company, then sold it to AOL, and stayed there until a few weeks ago.

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