November 20, 2011
Washington, DC-based video indexing and discovery platform Veenome has announced that they’ve raised a seed round of $500,000 from Ecosystem VC (Investors in Tube Mogul and Facebook), private angel investors from Google, Dingman Center Angels and others. Not bad for just 6 months out of the gate.
Veenome identifies products, objects, and brands in web and mobile videos. These objects are automatically tagged and indexed, so they can be contextualized and associated with relevant commerce opportunities and social channels.
Kevin Lenane, Founder and CEO of Veenome, who was most recently at PointAbout, has a background in implementing image recognition solutions and had seen the limitations of working with single images in terms of image recognition.
Earlier this year I started to think about how the accuracy of image recognition could be improved, and the answer I kept coming to was basically that it requires context of what’s happening before and after the still photo ,which is just a single point in time.
What would really make the results better would be basically a scatter plot of points forming a line. The only way I could see to get these points was to have more photos, and the only way to have more photos was to look at video, which is basically 24 photos per second.
I noticed that there wasn’t anyone really focused on automatic video recognition, and so I started to fiddle with frame data and how you could treat it as a whole and got some really great initial results.
After some early tests, he realized he was on to something because, as Kevin stated, “if I could make that data into a portable usable layer you could basically click on ‘stuff’ in videos to buy it, essentially creating scalable interactive media. Most of the previous efforts around this have been very manual tagging of content.”
Since then, the team and the business model has evolved, essentially building the capability to translate video content into data for organization, publishing, sharing, searching and monetization. While they are still early stage, according to Lenane, they already have a number of global publishers and video producers who are testing their product.
When asked about the perfect use-cases for Veenome, he said:
It’s really about being able to monetize video in more targeted and palatable ways. Right now the options in video advertising are un-targeted spammy banners or long block pre-roll ads.
So using the videos from TechCocktail TV as an example, we would use Veenome to make all videos clickable and instantly allow viewers to make direct purchases of the items we either show or discuss within the actual video. Veenome could also provide object keywords (related to the content in the video) to run targeted ads and search keywords promoting content discovery. The technology is delivered via a plugin and run through all the video on the site – Veenome then sends a rev-share check every two weeks.
The seed funding will be used to further build out Veenome’s recognition algorithms and APIs for its early customers.
The Veenome team is led by CEO Kevin Lenane and CTO David Geller. Geller is the former CEO of Plexstar and of Amazing Media. Check out the “wolfpack” of Lenane, Geller, Vladamir Korolev (VP Technology) and Mark Tegethoff (VP User Experience) here.
Learn more about Veenome’s platform here.
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