Motorola Invests in Ad Tech Firm Invidi

NEW YORK Motorola’s venture capital division has made an undisclosed strategic investment in Invidi, a start-up technology firm that promises to improve TV ad targeting.

In December, Invidi received a similar cash infusion from several investors, including WPP Group’s GroupM. At that time, GroupM’s chief executive Irwin Gotlieb was named to Invidi’s board of directors.

The eight-year-old Invidi is one of several technology companies looking to conquer the emerging “addressable television” sector.

Theoretically, Invidi’s product allows advertisers to target specific TV ads to viewers based on their age, location, sex and other factors, enhancing the effectiveness of the medium for brands.

“Addressable television advertising is a growing field that will change the future media landscape,” said William Reinisch, vp, New Initiatives, Motorola strategy group.

Invidi has relationships with companies such as Sarnoff Corp., Motorola, Scientific Atlanta, Acxiom, Experian and Nielsen (parent of Adweek).

As for the investment from GroupM, Invidi gains a potentially potent partnership. “Much of what they bring to us is client relationships and their tremendous standing in the media community,” said Michael Kubin, head of Invidi’s board of directors at the time.

For WPP, the investment marked the latest such strategic move by the advertising giant. In the past several years, the company has made similar investments in advanced digital advertising start-ups, including VideoEgg and SpotRunner. In May 2007, the company elected to purchase the online advertising technology vendor and rep firm 24/7 Media.