DailyMotion raises EUR17M and defies expectations

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DailyMotion today officially announces its new round of EUR17M, defying the fate that has befallen most video sharing startups (see: Veoh’s hail mary) as it breaches through 60M Uniques Users.  Atlas Venture participates above pro-rata in this round and grows ownership.

As for most video-sharing sites it’s been a rollercoaster four years of hypergrowth, legal woes, scaling challenges peppered with some great moments of exhilaration.  The segment remains challenging, not least because your main competitor is not an old school media business but a fast-moving platform company called Google and its monstrously successful video acquisition.

Over the last few years we have taken incredible flack over this investment with many industry pundits and fellow VCs predicting imminent gloom.  Well, the company is still here, and here to stay.  Somehow we have managed to define a positioning that is our own and appeals to our users, and to build a business around this.   I am not declaring victory yet, but I am proud that we built a sustainable business.

Challenges remain and the list is long.  We have new Hulu-like competitors (every media company seems to have understood that catch-up TV is actually helpful to the ratings of TV shows – duh !), we have to keep innovating against the best tech business in the world, we have to fix some current issues and have fallen behind in some areas (our MotionMaker is overdue an upgrade, our search is still average) and so on…

… but we also have

  • a fantastic recurring user base
  • enduring brand appeal as the independent, creatively focused video sharing destination
  • a strong new CEO and a strong VP team 
  • a board that has been working together for years and been through some tough times together
  • a sustainable business

The real challenge now is to demonstrate that this company is worth a half billion.  Clearly we are not there yet !  That will take further patient and systematic company building.  Personally I have not gone this far to lose patience now.

I want to extend special thanks to Ian Brotherston who was a fantastic interim CEO for us. 

Onwards and upwards !

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