Peter Kafka

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Chernin, Comcast Investing in YouTube Tools Startup Fullscreen

George Strompolos
Old media companies keep lining up to invest in YouTube. Here’s the latest: The Chernin Group and Comcast are putting money into Fullscreen, a startup that’s supposed to help video makers manage their presence on the world’s largest video site.

Sources say the two companies are part of a $30 million round that gives Los Angeles-based Fullscreen a pre-money valuation of $110 million.

I don’t know if any of the money is coming from secondary sales; I’m told the deal hasn’t closed yet but is supposed to soon.

No comment from Chernin Group, led by former News Corp. COO Peter Chernin, or Comcast, which is investing in the round via its Comcast Ventures arm. I haven’t heard back from Fullscreen CEO George Strompolos.

The round follows other recent Big/Old Media bets on YouTube startups, including Time Warner’s investment in Maker Studios and Bertelsmann’s investment in fashion network StyleHaul.

Like those two companies, Fullscreen generates revenue by representing a pool of semi-pro video makers on YouTube. Unlike those “multi channel networks,” though, it also has a software service it sells to content owners who want to navigate Google’s video site; customers include Disney Interactive, Comcast’s NBCUniversal and News Corp.’s Fox (News Corp. also owns this website).

Strompolos started Fullscreen a couple years ago; prior to that he had worked at Google and YouTube, where he worked with many of the YouTube content makers he represents now.

You can get a brief sense of what Fullscreen is up to in this video Strompolos made for how-to video maker Howcast; you can see the full series of his clips here.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik