Vidrovr raises $1.25M to bring smarter video search to publishers

Anthony Ha
As video becomes increasingly important to the media business (to the point where it's become a cliché), a startup called Vidrovr aims to help publishers find the most relevant videos to go along with their content.

As video becomes increasingly important to the media business (to the point where it's become a cliché), a startup called Vidrovr aims to help publishers find the most relevant videos to go along with their content.

So if I'm writing an article about, say, controversial comments from a tech CEO, I could use Vidrovr to search for footage of other times that the CEO discussed the same issue.

This might sound like a pretty narrow niche, but co-founder and CEO Joe Ellis said it will help publishers use video as "an informative medium," and also help them take advantage of the videos they've already licensed or created: "I think there's a ton of premium video content out there that's currently being under-monetized."

Soon, Ellis wants to bring Vidrovr's technology "all the way to the consumer." That means allowing publishers to present their own version of Vidrovr search on their websites, and to use the technology to content recommendations that connect videos, articles and social media posts.

He argued that Vidrovr has access to "really granular information" about the content of a video (it combines approaches like transcription, face detection and scene detection). So as it rolls out more products, the company can also provide publishers with more data about the kinds of videos their audience wants to see.

The startup is announcing that it has raised $1.25 million in seed funding led by Samsung's early stage investment fund Samsung NEXT, with participation from Verizon Ventures (Verizon owns TechCrunch) and R/GA Ventures, Social Starts and individuals including Bernd Girod. Vincent Tang of Samsung NEXT is joining the startup's board of directors.

The company started at Columbia University, where Ellis and his co-founder Dan Morozoff were Ph.D. students, and where they developed technology for searching and indexing video content. It was also incubated at Techstars NYC and is part of the first batch of startups at the Verizon Media Tech Venture Studio (that's where the Verizon and R/GA funding comes from).