NBCU invests in targeted TV ad delivery firm Invidi

Targeted ad provider Invidi Technologies is getting a helping hand from NBC Universal in the form of a "small" investment.

The company, which already counts Google, Motorola, and WPP's GroupM as investors, uses geographic data from set-top boxes and other acquired data to target ads to individual households.

NBCU's EVP and COO for ad sales Ed Swindler, told the Wall Street Journal that the investment gave the company a way to test new ad delivery models. "We would anticipate doing some testing as soon as it becomes possible," he said.

Targeted advertising has long been a goal of the industry, one that IPTV is ideally suited to. But, so far, it's a goal that hasn't been realized fully, although Verizon's FiOS TV has used Invidi to deliver geographically targeted ads since earlier this year, and Dish and DirecTV are reportedly planning to start selling Invidi-targeted ads early next year.

The New York City-based company provides addressable targeted television advertising and marketing for cable, satellite and IPTV service providers at the headend, household and individual viewer level. Invidi was founded in 2000, and allows service providers to simultaneously deliver multiple and distinct commercial streams to different households or individual set-top boxes during a single commercial break while also controlling reach, frequency and separation of the commercial assets.

In May, it completed a Series D financing round, landing more than $23 million in a round led by Google, with GroupM, Motorola Ventures, and leading venture capital firms Menlo Ventures, InterWest, and EnerTech as participants.

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