In the last few years, a dizzying number of technology platforms have come to market, promising to help online publishers sell ads more efficiently. But, with so many individual products now catering to so many individual business functions, how do customers avoid a headache?

By using one more platform that connects all the others together, answers Ashley J. Swartz, the digital video expert whose company, Furious Corp, is launching a brand new solution to do just that.

To launch its forthcoming product, Prophet, Furious has just received a $1.1m investment from Nielsen’s Innovate fund, an early-stage investment fund and incubator backed by Nielsen Ventures, along with Laconia Ventures and several angel investors to be “the Switzerland of media and advertising”.

The plan is to help publishers combine data from their content management system, inventory, pricing and more information in combined dashboards. Swartz says the idea is about “visualizing it in a beautiful front-end experience and making it actionable by delivering an integrated cross-platform planning tool”. Actions include forecasting, planning, workflow management and optimization tools.

More than that, she says Prophet is about helping the digital video industry catch up with other industries, which have long since adopted new-style business tools whilst publishers, for planning their business, cling on to Excel spreadsheets.

“Other industries … have solved these problems with enterprise-level solutions that connect the entirety of their business functions … to work more efficiently.

“Our mission is to empower the systems that power media. Excel was launched in november of 1990. Regardless of how much upgrade Microsft has invested, it’s not robust enough to do the job of tying together an $85bn television industry and an almost-$10 to $12bn digital video industry.”

Mexico’s TV Azteca is using the system. Swartz has helped outfits like Digitas, PHD and Double Fusion on digital and advertising programs in her career, and is a friend of Beet.TV who frequently hosts panel events and provides insightful commentary on the state of the emerging digital video advertising sector. Prophet development will be carried out in Israel.

“Nielsen Innovate led the investment round in Furious because their product vision and platform align with one of our key investment mandates – to identify companies and entrepreneurs building promising technologies that can help our clients optimize revenue,” according to Bruce Haymes, Managing Director, Nielsen Ventures.

“With video consumption migrating to and growing on digital platforms, the business of advertising for premium video publishers has become more complex and challenging.  Furious will simplify reporting, forecasting, and planning, while automating workflow across all delivery platforms.”
Update:  More on the integration for Furious with TV Azteca and and Google.  Here is the report in Adweek.