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.
At least $277.4 million was raised by global private video companies in Q1 '10 according to company news releases I received and public sources I track. Of the $277.4 million, $175.4 million was raised by 19 U.S. companies and $102 million by 5 internationally-based companies. The financings ranged in size from $775K for Wistia to $50 million for Qiyi, which is the Chinese search engine Baidu's new online video company. Once again companies across the ecosystem, including content aggregation, chips, advertising, encoding, live streaming and consumer devices were represented.
For the U.S. only, the quarterly total was in the middle of the last 3 quarters, coming in ahead of Q4 '09 ($150.1M) and behind Q3 '09 ($180.9M). Investments in the video space remain very healthy, as the economy gradually recovers from the recession and the opportunity for going public brightens a bit. In the last 4 quarters, U.S. video companies have raised at least $570.2 million.
Following are the 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.
VideoNuze is the authoritative online source for original analysis and news aggregation focused on the burgeoning online video industry. Founded in 2007 by Will Richmond, a 20-year veteran of the broadband, cable TV, content and technology industries, VideoNuze is read by executive-level decision-makers who need to get beyond the standard headlines and achieve a deep understanding of online video’s disruptive impact.