Targeted-Ad Vendor Invidi Raises $25M


Invidi Technologies, a Princeton, N.J., firm developing targeted advertising technology, has raised $25 million in a third round of financing that was led by Group M, the parent of media communications giant WPP.

Others participants were repeat investors in Invidi: Menlo Ventures and InterWest Partners, both of Menlo Park, Calif., and EnerTech Capital of Wayne, Pa. GroupM CEO Irwin Gotlieb has joined Invidi’s board of directors.

Invidi's proprietary technology infers who is watching the television at any given time, and its classifiers can identify the age, gender, location, income, and ethnicity of the viewer, while maintaining privacy and confidentiality, the company says.

The idea is to help advertisers target their audience with less waste and greater precision, and for cable operators to use more of their advertising inventory.

Seven-year-old Invidi raised $12 million in its first round, announced in May 2004, from Menlo Park and EnterTech, and $16 millionin March 2005.

With the aid of GroupM – parent of WPP media agencies including Maxus, MediaCom, Mediaedge:cia and MindShare -- Invidi said it plans to roll out its capabilities across cable, satellite, and telephone company platforms. So far, it only claims to be in “active negotiations with multiple distribution channels for the deployment of its technology.”

Invidi has fostered close working relationships with Sarnoff Corp., Motorola, Cisco’s Scientific Atlanta unit, Acxiom, Experian and Nielsen.

“Television advertising has operated in much the same way since it started in 1947,” says Invidi president David Downey said in a release. “Together with GroupM, we are truly building the television advertising technology of the future.”

“We look forward to participating in the enablement of advanced advertising solutions in television,” GroupM’s Gotlieb said in the release. “Addressability is the first critical capability against that objective, and Invidi has the core technology to deliver the addressability function.”