Noah J Nelson on Monday, Jun. 17th
Nothing says how serious the web video world has gotten quote like the amount of money that's moving from the venture capital world into the multi-channel networks.
The latest to harvest a big investment crop is Fullscreen, who announced today that they closed a round of Series A funding with The Chernin Group, Comcast Ventures and WPP.
Fullscreen notes its own profitability in their press release, and says that this round is for expansion: more tech, bolstering their sales division and–most intriguing from a creative standpoint– developing "owned-and-operated" content.
Fullscreen's has built its success on the back of shrewdly aggregated content. The marketplace, however, is increasingly defined by recognizable–if home gown–stars and brands.
Amidst rumblings of a YouTube creator revolt, stirred up by new media entrepreneur Jason Calacanis, Fullscreen's expansion is worth watching. There is a growing sense that the online video ecosystem we know today may be radically different sooner than anyone thinks.
The full Fullscreen press release after the jump.
Fullscreen Closes Series A Funding Round Led by The Chernin Group, Comcast Ventures and WPP
Leading Online Video Company Raises Funding to Fuel Technology, Content and Market Expansion
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – June 17, 2013 – Fullscreen, a leading online video company and the premier global YouTube network for creators and brands, today announced that it has closed a round of Series A funding. The round was led by The Chernin Group along with Comcast Ventures and WPP.
“Fullscreen’s mission is to empower a new generation of video creators to reach online audiences on a global scale,” said Fullscreen CEO and founder George Strompolos. “We’ve built scalable technology and an incredible roster of talent and brand partners since we were founded just over two years ago. This influx of capital will help us accelerate our goal of building a global media company, funding new content initiatives, continuing to invest into new technologies and furthering our rapid expansion into international markets.”
Fullscreen will use the investment to support the company’s domestic and international expansion across technology, audience development and sales. The company will also apply the capital towards financing new owned-and-operated content initiatives, as well as accelerating the development of its sophisticated SaaS technology to further empower video creators and brands to build and engage with desired audiences online.
“Fullscreen is a company that embraces both creators and technologists, and is influencing how people across the world watch video every day,” said Jesse Jacobs, President of The Chernin Group. “We first got involved with the company pre-launch two years ago and our conviction around the power of what Fullscreen is building has increased every day since.”
Since its inception, on a quarterly basis Fullscreen has seen an average increase in views of nearly 100%, an increase in subscribers of 100% and an increase in U.S. uniques of 90%. In addition, Fullscreen is currently ranked as the number one independent YouTube partner network based on total unique viewers according to comScore (December 2012-present).
"As the video ecosystem evolves rapidly, Fullscreen is fusing technology and services to simplify operations and maximize opportunity for brand marketers and creators. The company has done an incredible job raising the profile of top talent and brands, bringing their content to the forefront," said Sam Landman, principal at Comcast Ventures. "As a proof point, NBC Entertainment was the first network to use Fullscreen to manage and optimize their presence on YouTube and that successful implementation gave us confidence in their platform, company and team."
Fullscreen’s client roster includes top brands like NBCUniversal and Ryan Seacrest Productions,and top talent like dubstep violinist Lindsey Stirling and filmmaker Devin Super Tramp, bringing their content to the masses. Today, the Fullscreen network has over 10,000 channels, more than 150 million subscribers and over 2.5 billion monthly views. The company’s team has expanded accordingly, growing by 20 percent in the last quarter and now employing 150 people in offices across the country.
“There has been explosive growth in online video, particularly on YouTube, and a growing demand from our clients to reach consumers on its platform as it revolutionizes youth media consumption,” said Mark Read, CEO of WPP Digital. “Fullscreen’s model offers unique solutions for both brands and talent, and incredible opportunities for collaboration on both sides. Our partnership with Fullscreen will give our agencies and clients new expertise, insights, technology and access to help connect with consumers on the world's largest video platform."
For more information about Fullscreen and the brands and creators they work with, please visit www.fullscreen.net.
Fullscreen is a next-generation media company that offers innovative technology and premium services for content creators and the world's leading brands to thrive on YouTube. Fullscreen's global network generates over 2.5 billion monthly video views and reaches over 150 million subscribers. Fullscreen was founded in January 2011 by CEO George Strompolos, a co-creator of the YouTube Partner Program. Fullscreen is headquartered in Culver City, California. (www.fullscreen.net)