Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

YouTube Programming Investors Back YouTube Tools Startup Epoxy

epoxy_logo_dark_mediumAd gripes aside, lots of people are still betting on YouTube. Here’s the latest: Epoxy, a startup developing tools for video makers and distributors, which has raised $2 million.

I can’t tell you much more about the company than that, since it hasn’t opened for business yet. And CEO Juan Bruce is being purposefully vague about what he’s up to, other than that he hopes to sell to big YouTube programmers as well as Hollywood content owners and advertisers. And he’s not going to run an ad network or ad server.

Bruce has an interesting background. He has previously worked as a designer at IDEO, and most recently headed up digital for Team Downey, Robert Downey Jr.’s production/digital company; one of Downey’s bets includes YouTube network, Maker Studios. Here’s the rest of Bruce’s company.

Prior to Epoxy’s funding announcement, I had heard that the company was working on a feature/product aimed specifically at YouTube distributors trying to navigate Facebook. That’s a particular pain point for YouTubers, since Facebook is a huge distribution outlet but not one that plays nicely with Google/YouTube. Bruce does allow that the relationship between the two companies is “problematic,” so I’m assuming that what I heard has some truth to it.

Meantime, the most interesting thing about Epoxy is the people backing it.

It’s usually not helpful to spend too much time on an investor list, but in this case it tells a story, since it represents a lot of people who are already betting on YouTube/video: Mark Suster’s GRP Partners, a big Maker Studios investor, is leading the round. Other backers include Allen DeBevoise, who runs Maker rival Machinima; Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, which just backed StyleHaul, the Machinima for fashion; and Shari Redstone’s Advancit Capital.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work