Coull secures $4m from angel investors to fund US expansion

Latest investment in video advertising start-up takes total funding to $12.2m

Bristol-based online video advertising agency Coull, founded by Growing Business blogger Irfon Watkins, has received $4m from a group of angel investors including Steve Brown, co-founder of Buy.at (rebranded as Affiliate Window), taking its total funding to date to $12.2m.

Established in 2008, Coull operates a video monetisation platform for digital publishers and advertisers and says that it is now one of the largest video advertising networks in the world, with almost 1bn video plays per month across 180 markets.

In the last six months, it claims its revenues have grown by 500% and staff numbers are up by 90% since January 2013.

It plans to use the investment to open a new office in New York to sit alongside its Bristol, London and Santa Barbara offices, with the end-goal to become “the first billion dollar tech business to emerge out of Bristol”.

The news follows two recent hires for Coull’s overseas operations with former international sales at MSN, Ben Humphrys, joining as head of demand for Europe, and Yahoo’s former director of programme management, Michelle Melisaratos, heading up its global ad opportunities in New York.

Coull CEO Watkins, commented: “Publishers are starting to realise the clear benefits showing more contextually relevant video advertising can have on their bottom line, it’s fantastic to see our approach to online video advertising and our technology validated.”

Angel investor, Steve Brown, continued:

“Within the UK start-up scene many entrepreneurs, especially those receiving early capital, are led to be too focused on a quick exit at reasonable multiples for the initial investors, rather than building a long-term business.

“I admire Irfon for having positioned Coull with the potential to be a billion dollar tech business and it is fantastic he is committed to building it to just that.”

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