The digital video advertising market has more than doubled since 2019 as audiences embraced new opportunities in connected TV and streaming platforms brought on my increased engagement and leisure time during the pandemic. Video advertising allows brands and marketers to reach the right audience, watching the right show whether it’s on-demand or live streaming. Qortex is a video analytics platform that allows advertisers, brands, and publishers to take it one step further by delivering the right video ad at the exact right moment within the content, delivering high-impact results that can’t be missed. By using AI, Qortex can essentially tag specific moments in video regardless of volume, time, language, or context, allowing ads to be displayed in real-time, matching video moments to actions, feelings, or visuals of people and products. The platform provides 88% on-stream viewability, with ads 6.8x longer in full view; leading to 2.3x more engagement. Qortex is versatile enough to serve the needs of adtech platforms, publishers, and video players alike.
AlleyWatch caught up with Qortex Cofounder and CEO Zack Rosenberg to learn more about the business, the company’s strategic plans, latest round of funding, which brings the company’s total funding raised to $10.6M, and much, much more…
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
This is Qortex’s Seed+, led by GFT Ventures and support from other investors including Silicon Road Ventures, raising $10M to be used to expand our talent and technology in support of client and market demand.
Tell us about the product or service that Qortex offers.
Our patent-pending, AI-enabled, Intelligent Video Analytics (IVA) technology makes it possible for users to rapidly and accurately search, categorize, correlate and curate video “moments” at scale – regardless of volume, time, language or context. Today, hundreds of companies are utilizing Qortex for its On-Stream™, scalable in-video experiences which incorporates its “Moments Marketing” capabilities.
What inspired the start of Qortex?
I cofounded the company with COO James Altschuler. We originated as a sports media company aiming to bring live sports to social media channels. It wasn’t long before we attracted an audience, but realized quickly the platforms don’t monetize it as they don’t know what it is and they wouldn’t allow us to sell our own pre-roll, so we created a non-interruptive experience that could scale. Once we solved our own problem, it was time to expand its reach.
How is Qortex different?
In comparison with others within the market, Qortex has no direct competitors that reach the level of solution we have. From a scale and complexity standpoint, in comparison with general marketplace solutions, Qortex is able to work within the programmatic ecosystem and return results, fast, and a reduction in pricing at scale. From an outcomes perspective, we have clients using our Moments Marketing platform and reporting 15% to 30% greater revenue per video stream, live or on-demand for advertising campaigns.
What market does Qortex target and how big is it?
The first is enterprises that must use IVA to continue to lead the future and/or have tested standard off-the-shelf packages but are dissatisfied with the depth of insights or usability. Through these tools “moments” such as actions, events, feelings, products become targeting opportunities within video content across the web, CTV, and in-game.
The second stream is the advertising and publishing sector, where we’ve been the leader since our infancy and the demand for what we offer continues to spike as industry challenges like walled gardens and the demise of the cookie continue to pressure players to drive results in ways that better serve and honor consumers. In many ways, we are the solution this sector has always wanted and needed.
How are you preparing for a potential economic slowdown?
It is my belief that economic downturns are the perfect time for fresh funded companies. As more established players hunker down and focus on their core business, it provides a window of opportunity to gain market share and offer things bigger companies cannot.
What was the funding process like?
Always longer than you’d expect and no one ever gets everything they want. However, I feel fortunate to have found the right partners who believed in the future vision of the company and have delivered on everything they’ve promised.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
The biggest challenge of all was timing. We found our lead very early on in the process but having a robust, up to date data room is a very important learning for entrepreneurs looking to raise.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
The combination of proven success and solutions at a rate unseen for others in the same market, as well as our history proving success working with major brands and organizations are a few of the factors that led our investors to financially support Qortex.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
As 2024 kicks off, Qortex is aiming for record growth backed by several of the world’s top investors and entrepreneurs in the next six months. We aim to not only grow earnings, but also share of mind and market recognition. Recognized and utilized by major brands in the past, Qortex aims to continue its growth regarding clients as well and most importantly, become indispensable to their business.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Find partners who are complimentary to your business and able to take on some of the burden you are shouldering. Need sales? Find channel partnerships. Have marketing needs? Co-market an offering. Leverage bigger channels than your own
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
After focusing the early days of our business on building relationships to find media companies and publishers, we now turn our attention to brands and agencies who can utilize our On-stream, in-video ad experiences to deliver a high-impact experience that will move the needle.
What’s your favorite fall destination in and around the city?
Having lived in Murray Hill and had two children delivered at NYU, we like to revisit the area and walk the East River. Special memories.