What: Latino online video startup MiTu just raised an additional US $10 million in a series B funding round. The new funding was led by Upfront Ventures. The company’s other investors included The Chernin Group , Allen DeBevoise (Machinima) and Advancit Capital. According to the company, the funding will build out its production facilities in Los Angeles and Mexico City, and expand its engineering and sales teams.
Why it matters: The rise of YouTube , at present the broadest channel to reach the Hispanic market, has created new video distribution opportunities for platforms like MiTu or FameBit, which basically give media personalities broad distribution options for their content. With YouTube as the largest player in online video, it’s the best test-case for building video-focused, new media brands.
The rise of YouTube and its attendant online celebrity millionaires has created new opportunities for venture investors to launch new marketing and advertising platforms.
MiTu or FameBit, can help to bring more cash to YouTube’s “talent”, who ironically see 45% of the ad dollars generated from their videos go straight into YouTube’s pocket.
FameBit connects brands with influential YouTube stars to create original video content that is shared with their thousands to millions of engaged viewers.Its’ model allows brands to post products and services and have YouTube content producers directly build video segments around a company’s virtual or actual wares. Since its launch, the platform has done 1,200 video campaigns for over 200 brands and has around 3,000 active YouTube personalities producing roughly 500 videos per month.
Now FameBit developers are working to build a marketplace for brands to find, hire, and collaborate with YouTube content creators for product and service endorsements.
Mitu is a new Latino-fueled media brand and digital network that connects thousands of Latino content creators with viewers around the world. This company has announced a US$10 million round from investors including Allen DeBevoise, and Upfront Ventures, which backed the multi-channel network Maker Studios. The company counts with 1,200 content creators on its network , who generate 400 million monthly video views. Its channels have around 40 million subscribers and generate 120 million unique cookies — a measurement YouTube itself considers when it comes to traffic purposes. However, it has to be said that MiTu is a MCN (Multichannel Network) that not only relies on YouTube Distribution, but has also partnered with other media properties including AOL and Univision for video distribution and monetization. MiTu was founded by Doug Greiff, Beatriz Acevedo, and Roy Burstin. MiTu says it has 400 million monthly video views, 40 million subscribers and 1,200 video creators creating content for its channels.
“We are exclusively focused on working with Latino content creators and helping them connect with Hispanic audiences in the U.S. and Latin America. When you think about starting up a media company from scratch you think of digital first,” says Roy Burstin, one of the co-founders of MiTu and a former Bertelsmann executive.
When you think about starting up a media company from scratch you think of digital first
According to Burstin, YouTube is simply the first and broadest channel to reach a Hispanic market dominated by traditional broadcast gatekeepers, which haven’t opened enough gates to meet demand for certain kinds of content.“They do a bunch of things really well, like novelas, sports, and news, but they leave a lot of whitespace in areas like beauty, ‘DIY’, technology and comedy,” Burstin says. “If you were a latino content creator in the U.S., you had to be lucky, connected, or attractive to get deals. Now you can get worldwide distribution for almost no fee.”
“A lot of people look at [MiTu] as a YouTube business,” says Burstin. “As far as a distribution platform, YouTube is the first step. We have signed deals with companies like AOL and Univision to provide them with our content. The third leg of that stool is something we’re going to start implementing now — creating destinations primarily on the Web,”he added.
Although YouTube is a massive platform on its own, many of these multi-channel are operating much more like digital-first studios, giving a new generation of media personalities broad distribution options for their content. As Burstin notes, any business built on a single platform is not entirely an attractive business model, but with YouTube as the largest player in online video, it’s the best test-case for building video-focused, new media brands.