Jelli announced this morning the closure of a $21-million funding round. Investors include Relay Ventures, Intel Capital, First Round Capital, iHeartMedia, and Universal Music Group.
The new war chest comes two months after Jelli signed a major alliance with iHeartMedia and its subsidiary, Katz Media Group, to bring programmatic ad-buying technology to iHeart’s 850-plus radio stations, and Katz’s wide-flung ad network. At that time, Jelli’s CEO Mike Dougherty told RAIN News, “For Jelli it’s a huge partnership. You can’t get any bigger in broadcast radio than iHeartMedia.”
In a phone call with RAIN News today, Dougherty said the new investment “adds fuel to the fire.”
Mike Dougherty said the funding would go to technology resources and product development. “The funding will help us scale the platform, to support the changes that are being launched by iHeartMedia and Katz. Those two exchanges have significant scale, and we need to scale our own platform to support that volume. We will also develop some enhanced services for our partners in the market, primarily around data, data management, and direct access tools and services which allow advertisers to buy audio.”
“We’re excited about radio and audio now being included in the big surge of programmatic.,” Dougherty said. “We’re seeing significant scale this year, and expect to see more.”