Samba Ads Scores $500K in Quest for LatAm Online Video Ad Dominance

By Tara Seals February 20, 2013

Brazilian online video ad network Samba Ads is planning to make a play to be the market leader in Latin America, thanks to a $500,000 investment round. It will find itself up against older companies, like Impaktu, but for now is feeling bullish.

Four new backers joined the company’s support ranks, including Brazilian-Israeli VC firm Initial Capital, Dave McClure’s 500 Startups, American-Israeli firm Rhodium and Grupo RBS’ new digital holding e.Bricks Digital.

The company also has an anchor investor in the form of Groupon Brazil’s Founder and former CEO, Florian Otto, who came in when the company launched last year as a subsidiary to the SaaS online video platform Samba Tech.

“We selected each investor strategically, based on their experience with ad-related businesses, which will add up to our knowledge of the local market,” said CEO Rodrigo Paolucci in a statement, as translated by the NextWeb. “This will be a unique contribution to put Samba Ads in position to lead Latin America’s promising online video ad business.”

Samba Ads said that more than 100 million video ads have already been delivered via its network, throughout Latin America.

“Online video advertising is already a reality,” added Samba Tech’s CEO Gustavo Caetano (again, translated by the NextWeb). “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.”

Latin America as a region is seeing skyrocketing online video consumption. "Online video has reached record levels of adoption across Latin America as more viewers are tuning in and consuming more video content than ever before," said Alejandro Fosk, comScore senior vice president for Latin America. "This growth in viewership is particularly important for both marketers, with online video proving to be one of the best ways to reach and influence consumers, and for publishers, with video ads commanding high advertising rates on a per impression basis."

For instance in August 2012, comScore found that nearly 23 million people aged 15 and older watched online video in Mexico (up 14 percent from the previous year), leading as the fastest growing market in the region and representing 81 percent of the country’s total online population. In comparison, 96 percent of Argentina’s online population watched video in August, Chile (92 percent reach) and Brazil (84 percent reach).

These 23 million viewers watched an average of 155 videos per viewer (up 30 percent), compared to Chile (171.9 videos per viewer), Argentina (117.2 videos per viewer) and Brazil (125.4 videos per viewer). Mexicans watched a total of 3.5 billion videos during the month, an increase of 47 percent from the previous year, becoming the leading market in video consumption.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

TechZone360 Contributor

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