LOS ANGELES – IRIS.tv is taking an $18 million Series B funding round to tackle problems in connected TV and online video advertising.

The LA company offers a contextual video marketplace which uses natural language processing to automatically add and structure video metadata, helping ad buyers decide which inventory to buy against.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, co-founder Richie Hyden explains what is happening.

Funding the future

The company took Series A funding in 2015 from investors including Sierra Wasatch, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, Progress Ventures, Machinima founder Allen DeBevoise and executives from Nielsen, AEG and Lionsgate.

The new round is led by Intel Capital, with participation from investors including WISE Ventures, Quest Venture Partners and Mirae Asset Venture Investment, plus dataxu founder Mike Baker, SpotX founder Mike Shehan and Beeswax CEO and Ari Paparo.

Hyden explains how IRIS.tv will use the money:

1. Building the team

“Expanding our team and really focusing on ‘How are we bringing in a world-class developers, to help us continue to build on our API framework, making all of this data available to different partners?’ But then also, ‘How are building the team of market experts and really the data marketplace environment that helps us our partners, whether that’s brands and agencies and DSPs on the buy side or the SSPs ad service publishes data properties that we work with, the team expansion in that both in the us and abroad?’

2. Product expansion

“We’ve got a lot of different developer tools and APIs that are available to our partners and customers to leverage connecting these different data sets for different outcomes. And we’ve got a very large roadmap ahead of ourselves to expand on those integrations.”

3. Partner expansion

“We work with a lot of different constituents through the market – by no means are we done. And so we’ll be building on our partnerships with our data partners, publishers and buy- and sell-side partners in order to make sure that this data is available on every shelf for any type of buying, you know, targeting, verifying, and measuring.”

Data accessibility

For Hayden, the mission is all about solving two key problems – data accessibility and transparency.

He says platforms like YouTube and Facebook have done a fabulous job at connecting the data on their platforms around what a consumer is engaging with, so that brands can answer questions like: “What’s the right type of content that my brand campaign should be associated with?”

IRIS.tv is all about peering into the inner meaning of videos, pulling out contextual labels that describe the content and making them available as signals for ad buyers and platforms.

Hyden says he wants to make information that describes video contents available far and wide, even in content delivery networks (CDNs).

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