Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Maker Studios’ Backers Now Include Time Warner and Iron Man

iron manRemember that weird bit of unpleasantness between Maker Studios and one of Web video’s biggest stars last week?

It didn’t stop Time Warner and other investors from putting a pile of money into Maker, a fast-growing YouTube “network.”

This is the deal I told you about last month. And it tells you that, at the very least, big media thinks that someone, somewhere — besides Google — is going to figure out how to take advantage of YouTube’s Wild West landscape and make a ton of money.

The details: Time Warner’s investment arm is leading the $36 million round, though Maker may end up taking on other big investors in the coming months. Greycroft Partners and GRP Partners, who backed Maker early on, are also back.

And, for the first time, Maker is fessing up about some high-profile angels who have also bet on the company. It’s a very eclectic mix, which includes Robert Downey Jr., Elisabeth Murdoch and former News Corp. executive Jon Miller. (News Corp. also owns this Web site).

All told, Maker has now raised $44 million, and investors value the company at more than $200 million.

In other words — this kind of stuff is serious business:


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus