Private online and mobile video-related companies around the world raised at least $477 million in Q1 '11 providing more evidence of intense investor interest in the space. Of the total, approximately $340 million was raised by international companies, with approximately $137 million raised by U.S. companies. The international total was dominated by Softbank's $250 million investment for a 35% stake in China's Synacast Corporation, which operates the "PPTV" online TV service. The other significant international financing was Orange's 58.8 million euro (approximately $83 million) investment in video aggregator Dailymotion, for a 49% stake.
In the U.S. 15 financings were reported, with almost 80% of the amount collectively raised by 6 companies: SnagFilms ($10M), Auditude ($11M), Kaltura ($20M), boxee ($16.5M), Adap.tv ($20M) and TidalTV ($30M). As has been typical in prior quarters, all of these companies are involved in or rely on online video advertising in one way or another.
Q1 also produced at least 15 online/mobile video M&A deals, the most since VideoNuze began tracking the market nearly 2 years ago. The focus of these deals was varied and occurred both internationally and in the U.S. In the former category, examples included Amazon's acquisition of remaining shares of LOVEFiLM (the "Netflix of Europe"), AOL Europe's acquisition of video distribution network goviral and Prague-based KIT Digital's rollup of KickApps, Kyte and Kewego. In the U.S. some of the noteworthy deals included Cisco's acquisition of video encoder Inlet Technologies, YouTube's buyout of independent video producer Next New Networks, Tremor Media's acquisition of mobile video ad firm Transpera and CBS Interactive's acquisition of online video guide Clicker.
There were also a couple of highs and lows in the miscellaneous category in Q1. A high was Demand Media's successful IPO, raising $77.2M. Demand operates numerous video-oriented properties including eHow, one of the most popular how-to sites. On the low side, ZillionTV, which had reportedly raised $10M from investors including Qwest Communications, filed for bankruptcy as its standalone set-top box/content aggregation play failed to take off. Following is the list of financings that I tracked during the quarter, the date disclosed and new investors identified if applicable. Links are provided to the companies' press releases, or to relevant media coverage if none could be found (note that I haven't verified media coverage with companies themselves). If I've missed anything or you find an inaccuracy, please post a comment.
Miso ($1.5M) - Jan. 4 - Google Ventures, Hearst Interactive Media
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