FORA.tv Raises $4 Million Round from Hearst, Adobe, Others

By on 05/07/2008 8:44 AM @beet_tv

FORA.tv, referred by TechCrunch as the "C-SPAN of the Web," has closed a Series A round of venture funding with $4 million from William Randolph Hearst III, Adobe Ventures and other investors.  Hearst and Adobe were investors in the original $2 million seed round. 

The San Francisco start-up organizes videos of symposiums and conferences from think tanks, universities and other institutions. The clips are organized on the site around various topics and channels.  The site was just redesigned to allow a greater degree of personalization.

William Randolph Hearst III, a Kleiner Perkins affiliated partner and now a private investor, told Beet.TV:

"FORA’s financing is a vote of confidence for the
company. It will make it possible to aggregate much more public commentary from
all points of the spectrum. FORA’s new 2.0 release software adds features that
let sponsors add their own searchable content to the video archive. It’s very
cool."

Mr. Hearst’s investment is private and not related to Kleiner or the Hearst Corp.

Brian Gruber, founder and CEO of FORA.tv and a former head of marketing for C-SPAN, told me that proceeds of the funding would be used to expand audience and content. 

While traffic to the site is modest, the audience is highly educated and influential.  Big corporations seeking visibility are buying sponsorships on the site.  Present sponsors include Pfizer and Chevron.  Brian says that this small but desirable audience will command high ad dollars, similar to the leverage of the Economist.

Intelligent programming is finding a place on Web.  The most successful in terms of traffic is TED Talks.  A notable newcomer is BigThink.  The big daddy of them all, with some 4000 hours of  content, is Charlie Rose. This summer Rose will unveil a redesigned site which will make the clips much more sharable.

I have reposted my interview with Brian from last year.

— Andy Plesser

Recent Videos
image
Data is an “Enabler” of Creativity, JWT’s Jeffrey

When J. Walter Thompson’s Non-Executive Chairman Bob Jeffrey got his start in advertising, it was normal for agencies to present a single TV spot to prospective clients in order to prove their credentials. For example, at Chiat/Day, where he worked early in his career, they showed the “1984” Apple ...

image
Addressable TV will Provide Unprecedented Granularity, SMG’s Scheppach

CANNES — So-called “addressable TV”, in which TV sets can now speak back to broadcasters, are tantalizing with the promise of household-level ad targeting. But addressable TV is not just about more refined TV targeting – the device in the living room is one platform that will feed ...

image
Careers in AdTech Will be Powered by Digital Transformation, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong

Less than 10 percent of e-commerce and advertising is powered digitally —  but that will inevitably change. And the looming transformation will provides a twenty to thirty-year “tailwind” for the entire adtech and media industry which will mean vast opportunities for young people ...

image
Big Changes in the Values of Brands Powered by Geography and Technology, Sir Martin Sorrell

In the past 10 years, since the WPP-owned global brand consultancy Millward Brown has tracked the value of brands with its BRANDZ 100 rankings, there have been many changes.  Over that period, nearly half of the companies have changed.  This upheaval  has been powered by two major factors:  geography and ...

image
Addressable TV Advertising is Changing the “Lumascape,” Banker Kawaja

CANNES – As addressable TV advertising emerges, so are a number of companies including Visible World (recently bought by Comcast), Clypd, Simulmedia and others.  For the new medium to succeed, one essential will be companies that focus on yield management around addressable TV, says investment banker ...

image
A “Whole New World” of Video Advertising Coming to Comcast/NBCU, Driven by Set-top Data

CANNES – Comcast’s data from its twenty millions set-top boxes, coupled with marketers’ first party data, will create a “whole new world” for NBC Universal, for both advertising and content creation, explains Linda Yaccarino, Chairman, Advertising Sales and Client Partnerships ...

image
WPP’s Sorrell Wants Nikkei To Make FT More Ad-Friendly

It was a WPP agency that devised The Financial Times’ once-famous marketing slogan, “No FT, no comment.” So, what does WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell think of Pearson’s sale of its newspaper to Japan’s Nikkei for £844m ($1.3bn) this week? Speaking with Beet.TV in this video ...

image
Millennials Will Transform the Way Agencies Work: JWT’s Jeffrey

When considering setbacks over the course of his career, J. Walter Thompson’s Non-Executive Chairman Bob Jeffrey thinks of losing accounts, which he always took “very personally and emotionally.” In particular, he remembers when the agency lost most of its Microsoft business. “That was very painful ...

image
JWT’s Mirum Brings “Deeper Technology Expertise”

CANNES – “I think what clients are looking for from agencies now is a partner that helps them navigate,” says Lyle Tick, chief growth officer for J. Walter Thompson. “And that’s a lot of what we’ve been doing at J. Walter is restructuring ourselves in order to deliver those types of ...

image
Addressable TV Can Unleash TV Ad Creativity

CANNES — The $72 billion US TV advertising industry is premised on making 30-second spots that target consumers. Imagine what happens when TV sets give advertisers the cues they need to target customers individually. Michael Bologna, president of GroupM’s Modi Media division, which is working on ...

image
The Future Is The Vast, Unconnected World: Facebook’s Everson

These days, Pets.com is part of internet folklore – an early dot.com juggernaut that, in its mission to sell pet supplies direct to consumers, burned bright, launching in August 1998 and going from an IPO to liquidation in 268 days. Carolyn Everson remembers the site with horror, too – but, ...

image
Oculus, Microsoft HoloLens, Snapchat and the Inevitable Transformation of Media: Daily Mail’s Steinberg

CANNES — When considering the future of media over the next decade, the Daily Mail’s North America CEO Jon Steinberg thinks we have to be open to what may have seemed impossible even two years ago. “When I look at my 6-year-old daughter, I’m pretty sure she’s not going to drive a car,” he ...

loader