Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Blip.TV Raises $10 Million for More Web Video You (Probably) Won’t See on Hulu

YouTube isn’t the only Web video company celebrating its fifth anniversary. Blip.TV doesn’t have a celebratory channel, but it is marking the occasion in style: The New York-based company has raised $10 million in a C round led by Canaan Partners and Bain Capital.

Blip doesn’t make Web video–almost none of the Web video companies that survived the last bubble do that. Instead, Blip helps distribute clips, generally made by small-time producers, and sells ads against them. It splits the proceeds with the producers.

And like many other Web video outfits, Blip still isn’t profitable, though I’m told that could change by the end of the year. But Blip has a modest burn rate and has been steadily ramping up its list of big brand advertisers. Which is why it has been able to get away with raising only $8 million prior to its newest round.

Here’s an interview I shot with CEO Mike Hudack yesterday, in which he explains how a Web video company can survive without the backing of Google (GOOG) or big media companies. And he sketches out his vision for Web video’s future: Lots of people spending very little to make interesting stuff, and making enough money to keep on doing it.

Following that, a clip of Nostalgia Critic, one of Blip’s most successful shows. I don’t get it, but plenty of people do.

BLIP.TV RAISES $10.1 MILLION IN FUNDING

Online Media Company Secures Capital from Canaan Partners and Bain Capital Ventures.

NEW YORK, NY – May 19, 2010 — Next generation television network blip.tv today announced the closing of its third round of institutional capital, led by Canaan Partners and existing investors Bain Capital Ventures. The company will use its new funding to accelerate the growth of the independent Web shows that blip.tv hosts and distributes, expand its content services team, continue to grow its international advertising sales force and develop new products for viewers and producers.

“Blip.tv turns five this year, and I couldn’t be happier with our success to date and our growth plans for the future,” said blip.tv CEO and co-founder Mike Hudack. “We started in 2005 with a simple mission: to change the entertainment industry by making independent show production sustainable and scalable. We’re moving on to the next phase of executing against that mission, and with help from both Canaan Partners and Bain Capital Ventures I’m confident that we’ll be successful. We’re making more shows sustainable every single day, and now we’re going to accelerate that change even faster. This is an extremely exciting time.”

More than 44,000 independent show producers visit the blip.tv show creator dashboard every day to review statistics, engage with their communities of viewers, manage their shows, and release new episodes across blip.tv’s extensive distribution network. Together these shows attract more than 90 million video views a month. Eighty-five percent of those views are paired with targeted, direct-sold advertising from brands such as PepsiCo, Chevrolet, Samsung, Starbucks, AT&T and Scion.

“We’ve been following blip.tv’s growth for years, and we’re excited to invest in the company as it continues to change the entertainment industry,” said Warren Lee, Venture Partner at Canaan Partners. “Blip.tv has executed on its vision, and the company is creating a new Web television industry that is drawing top talent from traditional television networks, the film industry and garages across America. We look forward to working with Mike and his team to continue transforming entertainment together.”


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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of Pets.com would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”