At Least One Ad-Related Start-up Still Pulling Investors

It’s evident by now that the credit crisis will cast a pall over the ad sector, but how bad will it get? One indicator of the future health of the space is the abundance of venture capital. Are any marketing technology start-ups still boasting new funding rounds?

Well, there’s the one anyway. (Update: make that two. Appsavvy funding round detailed at bottom of post.)

BlackArrow said today it has scored a $20 million B round investment to continue development of its on-demand ad management system for TV and other platforms. Its new investors are the same as the old ones: Cisco, Comcast Interactive Capital, Intel Capital, Mayfield Fund and Polaris Venture Partners.

The BlackArrow system is designed to dynamically serve ads into live and time shifted TV content. It’s compatible with a variety of ad types, sales models, and distribution methods, or so the company claims. Here’s what we wrote about the company last year:

“What Black Arrow provides could be used by all the venues that serve up advertising,” said Gerry Kaufhold, an analyst with In-Stat who was briefed on the technology. With its contextual, time of day and demographic targeting capabilities, he said Black Arrow’s system can “make a real time decision about which group of ads fits [and] which actual ad gets served,” which is of course the longstanding secret sauce of online ad serving.

Of course it’s too early to say whether the big money will gravitate to cross-platform plays like BlackArrow’s and away from pure Web start-ups, but it’s interesting to see multiplatform video win a vote of confidence in such a bleak season.

Another ad firm to beat the economic chill: Media ad network Appsavvy. The firm announced a $3.1 million series A round. It sells ads for apps and app developers like 42 Friends, Bantr, Flixster, FrozenBear, MesmoTV, Playfish.

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