NEW YORK, Sept. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Playbuzz, the award-winning storytelling platform for interactive content, today announced it has raised $35 million in Series C funding, led by Viola Growth with participation from existing investors including Disney, Saban Ventures, 83North, Carmel Ventures, firstime and Oded Vardi.
The round more than doubles the company's existing funding, bringing the total to $66M, and further positions it as the number one platform relied upon by premium publishers and brands worldwide as they align their content with today's content consumption habits.
Playbuzz will use the investment to expand its global footprint, with a focus on its branded content business which already works with Fortune 500 brands to create, distribute and measure engaging native advertising campaigns.
"Working with top media companies over the last 5 years has put us in a unique position to identify opportunities for growth and develop innovative technology to improve audience engagement," said Shaul Olmert, co-founder and CEO of Playbuzz. "Playbuzz's evolution into providing monetized content solutions to publishers and brands is of substantial value to our partners in their effort to increase readers' attention spans and content viewability. Moving forward, Playbuzz will continue to drive engagement with interactive storytelling tools while answering partners' content, revenue and data needs all in one place."
The Playbuzz platform is used by the world's top publishers when they want their stories heard, enabling them to create engaging, visually-stunning editorial content - no design or development skills necessary. It is also relied upon by top brands who tap the company to create interactive branded content campaigns that Playbuzz then distributes at scale to its existing network of tens of thousands of publishers.
Playbuzz's platform suits any topic, tone and audience, powering over 12,000 engagements per minute, and is proven to boost audience engagement, garnering metrics high above industry standards, such as 2 - 4 minute average session times (as compared to the 15 second industry average). Branded content campaigns powered by Playbuzz are consumed by 65% of users on average (as compared to the 24% industry benchmark).
"As Playbuzz continues to grow, it will increasingly become a strategic partner for brands and publishers, all of whom must speak the language of modern consumers. The Playbuzz platform enables them to do just that, translating their content to meet the needs of today's readers," said Harel Beit-On, Founder and General Partner of Viola Growth, who has joined Playbuzz's board of directors. "Playbuzz's innovative storytelling tools continue to drive the future of content creation and ensure publishers' and brands' stories are heard. We believe in the company's excellent management team - with its strong creativity and operational skills - and are excited to join them as they enter this exciting phase."
Find a Playbuzz-powered, interactive version of this release here: http://www.playbuzz.com/ShacharOrren/playbuzz-series-c.
Founded in 2012 by Shaul Olmert and Tom Pachys, Playbuzz is a leading storytelling platform used by the world's premium publishers and brands to author, distribute and monetize interactive stories that drive audience engagement.
The company has over 150 employees across its offices in New York, London, Tel Aviv, Hamburg, São Paulo, Moscow and Los Angeles. Playbuzz's rapid growth is fueled by the adoption of its platform by premium publishers and brands who use the company's interactive storytelling and real-time analytics tools to engage users, boost their reach, raise brand awareness, improve monetization capabilities, and optimize content for maximum social interaction. The Playbuzz network reaches hundreds of millions of users every month through its partners and through its owned and operated website, playbuzz.com.
In March 2016, Playbuzz announced a $15M round of strategic funding led by Saban Ventures with participation from Disney and existing investors 83North, Carmel Ventures and firstime.
About Viola Growth
Founded in 2008, Viola Growth provides an opportunity for growth stage companies to raise the capital they need to develop and expand. By providing direct capital investment, combined with strong leadership support, it propels portfolio companies forward, turning recognized companies into global technology leaders. The team has vast experience in working with management teams to build organic and non-organic growth plans, scale operations, strengthen management teams and aim to create business partnerships with global leaders. Viola Growth is a member of the Viola Group, Israel's premier technology-focused Private Equity group with over $2.5B under management.
For more information visit: http://www.viola-group.com/.
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