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Web video studio pulls in $4.4 million as VC money trickles back into online entertainment startups.
Online video studio and platform My Damn Channel has raised a $4.4 million Series B round led by Intuitive Venture Partners, with additional funding from existing investors Okapi Venture Capital and Sunshine Wireless Company.
The New York Times' Brian Stelter believes this is emblematic of a resurgence in VC interest in online video. Really, it's just a part of the general thaw of the funding freeze that was 2008-9, coupled with the fact that the NYT got an exclusive on the news and had to couch it in a broader story to make it interesting, and Hollywood is always interesting. The VC interest never went away, so it’s not coming back. Money in general is coming back, a little.
Anyway, saying “there’s no story here” doesn’t make a good story, so let’s run with the NYT’s version for a minute.
Other web video deals this year include Machinima.com’s $9 million B round raised in June, Blip.tv’s $10.5 million C round in May, and Next New Networks (NNN) $3 million Series C in March. Four deals in 6 months is no groundswell, but it’s something.
The interesting thing is that not many of Silicon Valley’s traditional VC firms are doing these deals. For the most part, the firm names are unfamiliar to Valley folk: Okapi, Intuitive, Sunshine Wireless, Velocity, Saban Media Group, MK Capital. Exceptions include Redpoint, which led the Machinima round, and Spark, a participant in the NNN series B. Upshot: if you’re an enternainment company looking for moolah, you’re still better off with the specialty funds.
My Damn Channel says it plans to use the funds to add sales and business development.
It’s been focusing on branded entertainment projects—the kind of shows paid for by brand advertisers, kind of like the early TV program where one sponsor would overwhelm a single show’s advertising. Its sponsored series include Easy to Assemble and Spärhusen, sponsored by IKEA, Childrens Hospital (Adult Swim), The Webventures of Justin & Alden (Trident Layers), Grace Crashers (Southern Comfort), and Off Track with Tony Stewart (Armor All).
The company relies on multiple revenue streams. “We’re fueled by display advertising, branded entertainment deals, licensing of our content to all digital platforms—and soon by premium paid programming in Q4,” CEO Rob Barnett told Tubefilter.
My Damn Channel was founded in March of 2007 and previously raised a $3.2 million round led by Okapi Venture Capital.
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