Chute Raises $7M To Help Publishers And Brands Manage User-Generated Photos (And Use Them In Ads)

Posted: May 7, 2013 in Advertising, Startup, Technology, Venture

20130507-224325.jpg Chute, a startup that offers tools for collecting and
displaying photos, has raised $7 million in Series A
Funding. The round was led by Foundry Group, with
participation from existing investors Freestyle Capital
and US Venture Partners. Chute previously raised a
$2.7 million seed round led by Freestyle. The company allows publishers and other businesses
to pull relevant photos from social networks or collect
them directly from users, then display those images
on their own websites and in real-world locations. It’s
also experimenting with other photo collection
methods, like allowing NBC News reporters to post photos of the presidential inauguration directly from a
Chute mobile reporting app. The larger vision, said co-founder Ranvir Gujral, is to
build “a complete visual platform.” He said that
whenever a company publishes visual content, Chute
should be involved in some way: “That doesn’t have
to mean we publish everything — it just means that
we know about it.” The first step in making that happen, Gujral said, is
“growing our marketshare and awareness,” and indeed
that’s one of the company’s main goals with the new
funding. At the same time, he acknowledged that
there’s work to be done on the product side too. Chute is also making a product announcement today,
unveiling Chute Ads, which allow companies to
incorporate photos, whether from the brand itself or
provided by users, into banner ads. This helps brands
tie together their “paid, owned, and earned media,”
Gujrat said. “As a brand, if I’m putting time into creating great
content and posting it to my Instagram and Pinterest,
I want to put it into my own ad units instead of a
static SWF file,” Gujrat said. “We want to kill the
static SWF file.” The first publisher to offer Chute Ads, which are
scheduled to go live in June, is Condé Nast Traveler.
In a press release, Craig Kostelic, Head of Digital
Global Sales for Condé Nast Travel Network, argues
that the ads “give advertisers the ability to also be
publishers,” and that since they pull content in real- time, “audiences will never see the same ad twice.”

  1. Probably somewhere around making the pants and swearing on their mother’s mating name, they most likely should’ve said some thing about smelling like colon…

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