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TV ad network Spot Runner reels in another $51 million

The Los Angeles-based company says it has raised outside investments worth more than $110 million in its four years.

Spot Runner, an Internet-based advertising network that puts local business pitches on TV and radio, expects to announce Wednesday that it has landed another $51 million from investors including U.K. media company Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), Spanish media group Grupo Televisa, institutional investor Legg Mason Capital Management, and the luxury conglomerate Groupe Arnault/LVMH.

Spot Runner

Since its founding in 2004, the Los Angeles-based company has brought in outside investments worth more than $110 million. Previous investors include CBS, Interpublic Group, and Battery Ventures.

The deal underscores growing demand from investors for new advertising technologies for the Web and traditional media. Earlier this year, the open-source advertising network OpenX (formerly called OpenAds) raised $15 million from Accel Partners, among others.

Spot Runner has also lured talent from major Internet companies. Joanne Bradford, who has headed the advertising sales efforts around Microsoft's MSN, recently joined Spot Runner as an executive vice president.

Spot Runner has built a system that identifies unsold TV spots on Bravo, ESPN, and the hundreds of other cable networks, and then sells 30-second spots to local businesses. The ads can be broadcast nationwide, but most small businesses buy ads to run only in their region, which costs less. It does the same with radio.

Spot Runner also helps advertisers put together 30-second spots from a collection of canned art.

Nick Grouf, CEO of Spot Runner, said that the funding will help Spot Runner grow internationally, as well as into new ad markets online and offline. It could also help the company acquire rivals. In March, Spot Runner bought Weblistic, a network for selling online ads to local businesses.