Affectiva Raises $12 million to Extend Emotion Insight Technology to Online Video and Consumer Devices
x WALTHAM, MA–August, 7 2012 —Affectiva, the global leader in emotion measurement technologies, announced today that the company has secured $12 million in Series C financing, backed by Hong Kong businessman Li Ka-shing’s Horizons Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) Digital Growth Fund, with participation from existing investors. As a part of the financing, Frank Meehan at Horizons Ventures will join Affectiva’s board of directors and Mary Meeker, a partner at KPCB, will join as an Affectiva board observer. x
Affectiva, an MIT spin-off founded in 2009 by professor Rosalind W. Picard, Sc.D. and research scientist Rana el Kaliouby, Ph.D., has successfully commercialized emotion technologies, including Affdex™, an automated facial coding platform and Q Sensor™, a wearable biometric sensor. x
Building on its momentum in market research, Affectiva will use the new funds to accelerate Affdex development of emotional insights for all forms of online video content, including advertisements, trailers, TV shows and movies. Using the webcam found on laptops, tablets and smartphones, people will watch Affdex-enabled online videos and easily share their emotional experience with friends, family and content providers. This accurate, scalable emotional insight will also allow content providers to optimize their content with improved relevance, engagement and viral impact, resulting in more user traffic and increased advertising revenue. x
“Our goal is to make Affdex a globally ubiquitous tool that enables people to understand and share their emotional experiences online,” said David Berman, chief executive officer at Affectiva. “While there is tremendous value for online video publishers to better understand consumer engagement with their content, we want to take this even further, so that consumers can see and share their own personal emotional scores.” x
“Capturing and viewing online video has become mainstream. The ability to effectively measure real-time emotion while consumers are watching video has the potential to improve online engagement and satisfaction for users, in addition to creating opportunities for marketers to more effectively determine what consumers care most about. Affectiva’s thought leadership and commercial traction position the company well for growth and impact,” said Mary Meeker, a partner at KPCB and Internet-industry expert. x
The additional financing will also support the continued development for Q Sensor, already in use by hundreds of leading universities and corporations, to collect data and develop meaningful insights for areas such as sleep, anxiety, and stress. Affectiva is partnering with a number of leading research and commercial institutions on healthcare applications for clinical and consumer health. x
“Horizons Ventures identifies and enables innovative, market-making companies, like Affectiva, which is a great addition to our portfolio and will be an exciting player in the social and mobile space,” said Frank Meehan at Horizons Ventures. “Affectiva has the opportunity to make emotion an integral part of consumer’s digital interaction and engagement.” x
Affectiva previously raised $7.7 million from WPP, Myrian Capital and the Peder Wallenberg Charitable Trust, represented by Lingfield AB. In addition, the company has also won several National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants to further develop the cloud-based Affdex platform for brand managers seeking to optimize ad performance. x About Affectiva
Affectiva, an MIT Media Lab spin-off, is a global leader and industry expert in emotion measurement technologies with innovative and cutting-edge products such as Q Sensor™, a wearable biosensor, and Affdex™, facial expression recognition technology. Affectiva delivers cost-effective, scalable emotion analytics to Fortune 500 companies, top tier universities and leading research agencies who use these insights to improve their products, processes and brand experiences. Based on the world’s largest repository of naturally occurring emotional response, Affectiva has become the global standard for real-world accuracy and relevance in emotion analytics. For more information, visit www.affdex.com x About Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Since its founding in 1972, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has backed entrepreneurs in more than 500 ventures including AOL, Amazon.com, Citrix, Compaq, Electronic Arts, Genentech, Genomic Health, Google, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Netscape, Sun, Symantec, Verisign, webMD and Zynga. KPCB portfolio companies employ more than 350,000 people worldwide. More than 150 of the firm’s portfolio companies have gone public, and many other KPCB ventures have achieved success through mergers and acquisitions. KPCB focuses its global investments in three practice areas – digital, greentech and life sciences – and provides entrepreneurs with company-building expertise out of its offices in Silicon Valley, Beijing and Shanghai. For more information visit, www.kpcb.com x About Horizons Ventures
Based in Hong Kong, Horizons Ventures manages the Internet & technology investments of Mr. Li Ka-shing globally, including investments in companies such as Skype, Facebook, Spotify, Siri, Waze, UMPay and SecondMarket. For more information, visit www.horizonvc.com x
"Describing feelings in detail is never easy. By building Affdex facial expression analysis technology into our Link surveys, brand owners can get at the emotional response that people might not be able to articulate. We can make non-verbal emotional measurement truly scalable and cost-effective for the first time."
-Graham Page, EVP of Neuroscience Practice at Millward Brown
"Affdex facial tracking provides our clients with invaluable emotional insight to strategically refine their advertising and branding efforts. Using this quantitative neuromarketing technique, we can determine if the creative elements of an ad are indeed invoking positive emotions and creating the synergy between those emotions and the brand, or if the creative elements are working against the ad's intended goal."
-Marc Ryan, Co-Chief Executive Officer at InsightExpress
"Affdex provides brands with real insight into the emotional experience of their branded videos. By integrating this facial coding technology into our campaign dashboard, we will be able to assess the true engagement of social video based on actual user emotion allowing brands to plug this into their video execution and optimization for increased campaign performances."
-Rebecca Mahony, VP of Global Marketing at eBuzzing