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KERV raises $12M to grow shoppable video tech

Kerry Flynn
May 25, 2022
A shopping cart loaded with a giant "play" button like those on web videos

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

KERV Interactive, an Austin-based ad tech company that enables shopping on digital videos, raised $12 million.

Why it matters: Shoppable video isn't a brand-new concept, but improvements in AI and other tech have made it a more seamless experience for brands and consumers.

Details: Trinity Capital provided a $7.5 million credit facility, and the rest of the round came from Plaza Ventures and Vestech Partners.

  • KERV, founded in 2017, has raised a bit more than $30 million to date.
  • The company declined to disclose its valuation or annual revenue but said its revenue growth from 2021 to 2022 will be more than 250%.
  • KERV has 60 employees after hiring 25 so far this year.

How it works: KERV's products allow marketers to run shoppable video ads on the web, mobile, social media and TV.

  • "With KERV's technology, any object, location, person or thing can be identified and made interactive to be shoppable and/or informational," CEO Gary Mittman wrote in an email.
  • KERV makes money by charging a flat fee for its services as well as a CPM rate on the ads it runs.
  • Its clients include brands like Kohl's and Delta, agencies like Publicis and WPP, and publishers like Forbes and Bustle.

The big picture: TV networks and tech platforms have long experimented with shoppable video — from scanning QR codes to offering one-click buying.

  • During NewFronts earlier this month, NBCUniversal, Roku, and Condé Nast were among the companies announcing new shoppable ads.
  • Livestreaming commerce (think of it as interactive QVC) has also gained traction. It's incredibly popular in China and has begun to take off in the U.S.

What's next: Mittman says he plans to put the funding toward sales and marketing and supporting KERV's tech.

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