Veritonic, the world's first audio effectiveness platform, today announced that it has raised $3.5 million in seed capital to build on its success in bringing an evidence-based approach to audio marketing. The round was led by Newark Venture Partners with participation from Imagination Capital, Kiwi Venture Partners, MDC Ventures, and SWaN & Legend Venture Partners.
Veritonic is the first analytics platform built specifically to quantify the value of sound, making it easy for audio platforms, brands and others to always leverage the most impactful audio and cultivate deeper relationships with customers.
Founded by CEO Scott Simonelli, COO Andrew Eisner and CTO Kevin Marshall, pioneers in online testing and optimization, Veritonic was created to fill a critical gap in media and technology: the ability for marketers and others to make the same kind of data-driven decisions about audio creative -- particularly pre-market -- as they do about other kinds of creative, where/when to advertise, targeting and more. The need is particularly glaring now as audio continues to explode, driven by everything from voice-technology innovation, to podcasting, to the fact that modern consumers -- perpetually distracted and on-the-go -- are more exposed to audio's influence than ever before.
"With consumers increasingly making voice-powered smart speakers, streaming music and podcasts part of their daily routines, there has never been a more critical time for brands to have an audio marketing strategy – and the data to back it up," said Jessica Peltz-Zatulove, Partner at MDC Ventures. "Similar to what we've seen in digital and video, Veritonic promises to transform audio into performance content by creating an exciting new dimension of creative measurement."
Veritonic is already working with the world's leading audio platforms, including Pandora, Westwood One, Audible and National Public Media; brands like Bose, Subway and E*TRADE; and sonic branding agencies such as iV Audio Branding and AudioUX. These businesses are leveraging the Veritonic platform in many ways, including:
- Pre-market creative testing: testing audio creative (voices, music, audio logos and more) before launching them -- for their ability to drive a range of emotional responses, purchase intent and brand recall -- maximizes consumer exposure to the most effective creative and advertiser ROI.
- Benchmarking/Normative analysis: the ability to compare large volumes of audio assets easily -- against competitors, industry norms and more -- empowers businesses to make more informed, strategic decisions faster.
- Thought leadership: the ability to generate new, critical research on how consumers respond to audio creative -- from ads to voice commands on smart speaker platforms to audiobook narration -- Veritonic enables clients to help lead the industry forward and grow their businesses.
"50% of internet searches will be voice-driven by 2020. Understanding how those voices affect decision making and emotional responses is a dream come true for marketers," said Dan Borok, Managing Partner at Newark Venture Partners. "Veritonic is not only providing marketers with the ability to measure what their customers think of them, but they are making it possible pre-market, outlining a clear pathway to success."
Veritonic is at the cutting edge of audio and data, not only for what it measures, like the right audio to drive voice commerce on smart speakers, but how it measures it. The platform uses a combination of what the company has dubbed "Machine Listening and Learning" (M-LAL) and custom panel data to provide the most accurate, comprehensive analysis of how audio moves people.
M-LAL analyzes over three years-worth of audio data to make instant predictions on how creative will perform. Then, the company's patent-pending survey technology, which captures the real-time emotional response of any custom audience a client wishes to query, feeds new data back to M-LAL to help it continually learn.
"Innovation around audio is moving a mile a minute--new forms of content, more outlets to consume and experience audio, new applications utilizing audio to enhance functionality; this innovation is powering an industry shift that will increase demand for audio, and more importantly, the right audio for each target audience," stated Rachel Lam, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Imagination Capital. "Veritonic, for its ability to not only determine the most impactful audio across every channel, but to do it quickly and at scale, is poised to become one of the most fundamental companies in expediting this market shift."
"We're thrilled that so many forward-thinking businesses and investors are clearly seeing how critical it is that the true value of audio be determined--objectively--before any decisions are made about it," said Simonelli. "We live in world driven by data, and rightly so--it means smarter, more cost-effective, more successful business strategies. Kudos to these leaders for understanding that the same kind of intelligence needs to come to audio now."
Veritonic is the audio effectiveness company--the first analytics platform built specifically to quantify the value of sound. With an easy way to understand which audio is most impactful and leverage it consistently--in everything from ads to sonic logos, podcasts to smart speaker applications--the world's leading audio platforms, brands and others cultivate deeper relationships with customers, and save time and money in the process. Veritonic is headquartered in New York with offices in Newark, Londonand Denver.
About Newark Venture Partners
Newark Venture Partners helps innovative entrepreneurs build distinctive technology companies while catalyzing development in the technology ecosystem in Newark, NJ. Newark Venture Partners is a $45M fund, funded by top corporate investors based in the Newark area, such as Audible (an Amazon Company), Prudential Financial, Dun & Bradstreet, Panasonic, TDBank, RWJBarnabas Health and others, who are committed to supporting the portfolio's growth. In addition to our direct investment arm, NVP Labs is a bridge-to-seed program that provides participating companies with a minimum of $100k in funding, a co-working space, specialized mentorship and strategic growth opportunities. NVP Labs invests in up to 10 companies twice a year. Please visit www.NewarkVenturePartners.com for additional information or to submit an application to be considered for NVP Labs.
About MDC Ventures
MDC Ventures is the corporate venture capital arm of MDC Partners, investing in seed stage, B2B marketing technology companies transforming the global advertising landscape. Since 2011, our Ventures group has been partnering with the innovators, entrepreneurs and startups addressing the needs of the Modern CMO. For more information, please visit us at mdcventures.vc
About Imagination Capital
Imagination Capital is an early stage investor backing companies that are poised to capture an industry shift. Targeting initial investments of $250-500k in big data/machine learning, esports and digital media companies, we partner with exceptional entrepreneurs to convert imagination into innovation. For more information about us, please visit www.imaginationvc.com.