Bluestreak Nabs $3 Million from AOL Time Warner
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Rich media ad technology firm Bluestreak will add $3 million to its coffers and a major player to its list of partners this week, thanks to an influx of cash from media giant AOL Time Warner.
The funding concludes Bluestreak's second round and of financing, and adds AOL Time Warner Ventures to StarVest Partners, CIT Venture Capital, Lazard Technology Partners and Zero Stage Capital. The five firms contributed a combined $19.5 million to Newport, R.I.-based Bluestreak since the company began putting together the round in October.
"Bluestreak has established a unique position in the marketplace with leading technology that delivers the maximum return on investment. This support from our investors is a testament to our strength, future and stability," said Bluestreak president and chief executive Annette Tonti.
The company, which provides rich media campaign production, management and analysis, said it would use its new funds to expand its sales and marketing initiatives and extend its platform to other digital platforms, including wireless devices and interactive TV.
In addition to that cash, there could be enormous benefit in having AOL Time Warner as an ally, although spokespeople from the firms did not discuss specifics. In any case, having the newly-merged giant -- and its wide array of media properties -- in your corner certainly can't hurt, especially when you're a comparatively small firm working to gain a foothold for your rich media ad technology.
In addition to access to AOL's Web publishers, another lucrative opportunity could stem from the fact that AOL is conveniently ramping up the marketing behind its AOLTV interactive/personal television product. With competitors like TiVo already enjoying sizable market share, and Microsoft's UltimateTV looming on the horizon, bundling discounted iTV ad production could entice advertisers on AOL Time Warner's other media properties to support AOLTV.
"Bluestreak has an unique vision for the future of online advertising infrastructure, and we are looking forward to working with them to explore the potential of their exciting technology," said Len Leader, president of AOL Time Warner Ventures, in a statement.
In addition to its Newport headquarters, the two-year old company has offices in New York and Boston, and services clients including Volvo, MyPoints.com and Universal Studios.