SocialVibe, which integrates ads into websites and social games/apps, has raised $20 million in equity financing in a round of funding led by new investor Norwest Venture Partners.
SocialVibe's ad platform specializes in delivering ads when consumers are engaged in activities like playing social games, donating to charity, acquiring virtual currency, or accessing premium content. Those users can earn rewards (e.g. free virtual currency) by interacting with ads.
The company works with advertising agencies to "develop brand stories" that it feels are entertaining, relevant, and "elicit an emotional response". It then encourages users to incorporate that message into news feeds and conversations on social networks, virally distributing ads.
SocialVibe will use its new funding to "accelerate global adoption of its brand engagement advertising platform". Its network reaches some 200 million consumers around the world through sites like Pandora and Huffington Post, and partnerships with Facebook app developers like Zynga.
With this investment, Norwest Venture partners will join SocialVibe's board of directors. Several of the company's existing backers -- Redpoint Ventures, Jafco Ventures, and Pinnacle Ventures -- also participated in the round.
"By engaging with consumers at a time when they are most receptive, SocialVibe empowers ad agencies to get the most out of their clients' media dollars," says SocialVibe CEO Jay Samit.
He adds, "We're honored to have Norwest Venture Partners join us as both an investor and as an integral part of our Board of Directors as we continue to transform brand advertising online."