It’s been about nine months since Movieclips rebranded as ZEFR to provide content ID and monetization tools to publishers distributing or claiming their content on YouTube. Today, the startup is announcing its first big customers, signing up big-name music labels like UMG, Sony Music, and Ultra Music, as well as NASCAR.
ZEFR, a company we’ve long known as MovieClips and as the definitive provider of content rights management for Hollywood studios on YouTube, is looking to spread its wings. The three year old Los angeles startup that’s already serving more than 1 billion video views per month has recently hinted at expansion into additional categories including TV, music, and sports. But it appears the bigger vision is to offer a wider array of services to its customers across all of these categories. Today, the company is taking the first step in assembling its “end-to-end solution” with the acquisition of stealthy in-stream video advertising optimization startup Pipewave. The company declined to specify details of the transaction.
Former Yahoo exec Ross Levinsohn, who has laid pretty low since he left there earlier this year, will be joining the board of the Venice, Calif.-based video start-up, Zefr.
“Ross is a perfect intersection of everything we are in media and technology,” said Zefr co-founder Zach James. “He understands both sides natively, and we need that kind of expertise.”
Indeed — the company raised $18.5 million in additional funding this summer to turbocharge its offerings.
Dear YouTube content creators: Just over a year ago, Google invested in many of you. More than $100 million was doled out in the new channel initiative, which was meant to propel the creation of more engaging original content. A few months ago, Google followed up with a similar investment in European channels, and is now on the verge of announcing a second wave of funding in the U.S.
In your favorite films, there are unforgettable moments that you might like watching over and over again. These movie clips are an important part of the film experience — they make you feel something. Co-founders of Zefr, Zach James and Rich Raddon, recognized the emotional capital in movie clips, and launched Los Angeles-based startup Movieclips (now called Zefr) in 2009.
Over the past several years, Los Angeles-based ZEFR (f.k.a. Movieclips) has been focused on getting Hollywood studios to let it license their movies, and create clips of their films to put on YouTube. But it’s recently added a new business focused on helping content creators across a number of verticals to monetize content that gets posted on YouTube. Now, it’s going beyond just its home U.S. market and taking on the world, with a key international hire to expand overseas.
Movieclips, a niche video catalog site launched in 2009 that shifted to focusing on helping movie studios collect and monetize fan and professional postings on YouTube, is changing its name to ZEFR as it adds sports, television and music videos to its content network.
Received $18.5M Series C Funding
Participation U.S. Venture Partners, MK Capital, Shasta Ventures, SoftTech VC, First Round Capital, Richmond Park Partners
I thought I knew all there was to know about MovieClips. If you asked me to summarize their business, I would have said, "They post short clips of premium Hollywood movies on YouTube and put some ads up next to the content." But I would have been completely wrong.
Apparently when you're the fastest growing channel on YouTube, hiring becomes less of a challenge. PandoDaily has learned that MovieClips has leveraged its status as a Top 10 YouTube channel to hire three senior executives away from Astro Gaming, Ustream, and Demand Media over the last two months. The hires include a new head of operations, head of business development, and head of audience.
We're big fans of online movie clips site Movieclips.com, which launched in 2009 as a search engine with over 20,000 different clips from thousands of titles from the libraries of 20th Century Fox, MGM, Paramount, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures. Today, the company is announcing that it has raised $7 million in funding led by MK Capital (a founding investor in Machinima, a large gaming publisher on YouTube). Shasta Ventures, First Round Capital, Richmond Park Partners, Jeff Clavier, Naval Ravikant, Jeff Kearl, Tom McInerney, Allen DeBevoise and Gordon Rubenstein also participated in the round. But that's not all. Movieclips is announcing a lucrative new, Vevo-like deal with YouTube, to bring all of the startup's licensed Hollywood HD movie clips to the online video platform.
Your favorite movie moments are now on YouTube, thanks to a partnership with Movieclips that's adding tens of thousands of short-form Hollywood clips to the site. As part of the partnership, Movieclips has launched a channel page on the site and will also provide clips on YouTube's Movies channel as a way to entice users to rent films through the streaming VOD service.
Received $7M Series B Funding
Participation MK Capital, Shasta Ventures, First Round Capital, Naval Ravikant, Jeff Kearl, Tom McInerney, SoftTech VC
Last week, Los Angeles-based MOVIECLIPS.COM (www.movieclips.com) announced the firm's Series A funding round, worth $3M, from Shasta Ventures, First Round Capital, and a number of Silicon Valley angels. We caught up with Zach James and Rich Raddon, co-founders of MOVIECLIPS, to learn more about the company and also hear about the firm's funding round. Zach--who is the brother of Omniture founder Josh James--has served at Credit Suisse and Hummer Winblad, and Rich previously ran the Los Angeles Film Festival. (Photo: Rich Raddon on left, Zach James on right, courtesy MOVIECLIPS.com).
Online movie clips site Movieclips.com has raised $3 million in Series A funding from Shasta Ventures and First Round Capital as well as a number of angel investors, including Jeff Clavier, Aydin Senkut, Naval Ravikant, Babak Nivi, Jeff Kearl, Tom McInerney, and prior investor Richmond Park Partners.
Received $3M Series A Funding
Participation Shasta Ventures, First Round Capital, Aydin Senkut, Naval Ravikant, Jeff Kearl, Tom McInerney, SoftTech VC