Reelio Reels In Seven-Figure Seed Round to Connect Brands with Creators on YouTube

/ Mar 11, 2014

reelioguys

Reelio, a YouTube advertising startup that describes itself as a “Match.com for brands and creators,” has raised a “seven-figure” seed round led by E.ventures. (Per a regulatory filing with the SEC, the total was $1.295 million.)

The goal of Reelio? To connect brands with creators on the world’s biggest video site, and in turn reach fans in a more organic way than simply running pre-rolls in front of videos. Reelio wants to help potential clients — which can be anyone from brands to publishers, studios, and even non-profits — find the “ideal video content partners,” according to Reelio co-founder and CEO Pete Borum. The startup will use data to mine which creators fit best with a client’s goals, and then help facilitate a partnership.

Added Mark Borum, Reelio co-founder and VP of marketing: “This isn’t just about the brands. It’s about the YouTube community…[where] fans aren’t just fans; they’re viewed as friends.” This, Borum believes, will give brands a unique opportunity to let YouTubers do their advertising via an “authentic word-of-mouth” strategy.

What makes advertising through YouTube/brand partnerships so “authentic,” in Borum’s view, lies in seasoned ‘Tubers’ hesitance to promote products “solely for the extra cash.” Since successful YouTubers “value their credibility among their peers,” branded content makes a more powerful impact when it does occur. Reelio intends to facilitate this process.

E.ventures headed the seed round, while other investors include KRW Schindler Private Ventures, Jason Glickman and Andrew Reis (co-founders of Tremor Video), and Thomas Hesse (former president and co-founder of VEVO at Sony Music), along with prior private investors.

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