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9 November 2017

Vidrovr reels in $1.25m seed round

The Columbia University spinout has received cash from the investment arms of Samsung, Verizon and R/GA.

Author: Callum Cyrus, reporter

Vidrovr, a US-based computer vision spinout from Columbia University, has obtained $1.25m in a seed round led by Samsung Next, a corporate venturing subsidiary of technology vendor Samsung, TechCrunch reported on Tuesday.

The round was backed by Verizon Ventures and R/GA Ventures, respective corporate VC divisions of telecoms firm Verizon Communications and advertising agency R/GA.

VC firm Social Starts also provided funds, as did individual investor Bernd Girod and undisclosed participants.

Founded in 2016, Vidrovr is building a computer vision-based system to allow video publishers to automatically categorise clips according to their content. The platform uses transcription, face detection and scene detection to formulate metadata to be matched against content elsewhere.

The developer hopes the service will eventually become a consumer-facing feature of video content portals, allowing the collection of audience data to market to clients.

Vidrovr was co-founded by Joe Ellis and Dan Morozoff, both alumni from Columbia University with PhD degrees in machine learning and computer vision. The pair were assisted by Shih-Fu Chang, a professor in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Verizon and R/GA contributed through the Media Tech Venture Studio program, which chose Vidrovr in August 2017 as one of eight startups to receive $100,000 in funding.

Vincent Tang, of Samsung Next, will join the Vidrovr board of directors following the latest round.

Tang is a mentor at incubator Techstars – where Vidrovr participated during winter 2017, and which offers a convertible loan of $100,000 and $20,000 equity in exchange for 6% interest. 

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