SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Platform for brands, publishers, and developers to leverage real-time visual content, today announced that it has closed a $7 million Series A equity round led by Foundry Group.
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Chute, the platform for brands, publishers, and developers to leverage real-time visual content, today announced that it has closed a $7 million Series A equity round led by Foundry Group, with existing investors Freestyle Capital and U.S. Venture Partners contributing to the round.
"The Chute platform provides its clients with the ability to better ingest, understand, manage and leverage real-time visual content. Chute's arsenal of developer tools and media platforms is what ignited Foundry Group's interest in the company," Foundry Managing Director Ryan McIntyre said.
"At Foundry Group, we are deeply interested in companies that provide ˜magic infrastructure' for developers that makes it simple for them to deploy complex yet elegant functionality at scale that integrates easily with their new and existing mobile and web apps," McIntyre said. "With over 500 billion photos taken via smartphones in 2012, Chute's cloud media platform enables brands, publishers and developers to participate in the massive visual conversation happening every day."
In conjunction with its latest round of funding, Chute is announcing Chute Ads, a first of its kind product that allows brands to inject real-time visual content into digital advertising units. Chute is also announcing that CondÃ© Nast Traveler is the first to use Chute Ads' real-time and user-generated photo capabilities on cntraveler.com. Chute and CondÃ© Nast Traveler are enabling brand advertisers to meld paid, owned, and earned media efforts, thereby revolutionizing web ads by making them more interactive, personal, novel, and visual for marketers and consumers alike.
"Chute Ads provides an innovative tactic for CondÃ© Nast and its brands to give advertisers the ability to also be publishers," said Craig Kostelic, Advertising Director, Digital, and Global Head of Digital Sales at CondÃ© Nast Traveler. "The ads encourage user interaction and provide a more engaging and immersive experience, which makes the ads more effective and more attractive to consumers. Real-time content means audiences will never see the same ad twice, and in-ad calls-to-action ensure engagement and long-term relationships."
Since its launch in 2012, Chute has seen substantial growth - processing and serving billions of photos for clients like NBC News, Turner, House of Blues Entertainment, CondÃ© Nast, the NBA, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Chute continues to grow as more companies turn to visual content to help tell media-rich stories.
The new funds will be used primarily to expand product offerings and scale operations as the company continues to expand the ways in which it is shepherding and powering the visual revolution.
"We are known for our strength in helping brands and publishers leverage owned and earned visual content. By being the first company to complete the loop and help companies leverage owned and earned media in their paid efforts as well, we are broadening brands' visual storytelling capabilities and helping them drive deeper relationships with audiences," said Ranvir Gujral, Co-Founder of Chute.
Chute is a mobile and Web platform that makes it easy to add photo and video functionality to any application or site. Chute works with some of the world's biggest publishers and brands including NBCNews.com, Turner, CondÃ© Nast, Saks Fifth Avenue, and House of Blues Entertainment, combining cloud infrastructure with extensive developer tools to provide instant media infrastructure to new and existing mobile and Web applications. SlideChute, built on top of the Chute platform, makes it easy to collect, manage and display user-generated photos across the Web. For more information, please visit http://www.getchute.com.
About Foundry Group
Foundry Group is a venture capital firm focused on making investments in early-stage information technology, Internet and software startups. Its third venture fund of $225m was launched in September 2012 and is managed by four managing directors with over five decades of combined experience in venture capital investing. During that time they have invested in over 100 companies as institutional investors and over 50 companies as angel investors. Additionally, they have over three decades of entrepreneurial experience in founding and working in senior operating roles inside technology startups.