New Cash For Lightningcast

Lightningcast, a firm that inserts targeted audio and video ads into streaming media, has won $15.5 million in second round of funding, the Alexandria, Va.-based company said Monday.

Investors include Nokia Venture Partners, Redleaf Group and Birchmere Ventures. The latest funding follows an initial round of $4.7 million from Redleaf and Birchmere in March. Lightningcast’s lead investor is a $500 million venture capital fund that targets wireless companies and is in turn backed by Nokia, Goldman Sachs, CDBWebTech, BMC Software and others.

CEO Tom Des Jardins said Lightningcast is an “agnostic” provider – meaning it has “no particular religion about how to do streaming. This gives us a long runway to grow with the streaming media marketplace.” The cash will be spent mainly to develop technology for delivering content within different streaming-media platforms and regardless of hardware used for delivery, he said.

Ligntningcast is “in the process of finishing” techniques for transmitting streaming ads to MP3 and to RealPlayer platforms, Des Jardins said. “Then we will exert a lot of energy toward wireless. But we see MP3 continuing to advance, and hope to get into other types of open-standard-based versions of content distribution.”

The privately-held company has an affiliate network of over 20 partners and offices in New York, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta and Los Angeles.