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Summary:

Revver, the online video sharing site based in Los Angeles, is almost out of money, after failing to secure more funding, we learned through…

Revver, the online video sharing site based in Los Angeles, is almost out of money, after failing to secure more funding, we learned through sources. The company had an acquisition offer on the table, from Brad Greenspan’s LiveUniverse, from what we know, but now News.com reports that the deal never materialized.

Revver’s asking price is about half million dollars, as well as the assumption of the company’s debt, which is in the $1 million range, the story says. Revver was one of the early pioneers in the video sharing space, and was the first to offer an ad revenue sharing arrangement with video producers, but fell on hard times after management trouble and lack of funding. It had raised a total of about $13 million in two rounds, from the likes of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Bessemer Venture Partners, Draper Richards and others.

The potential LiveUniverse deal was first reported by Contentinople earlier this month, but was a bit premature.

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  1. this is a pity.
    although i almost feel like this is the beginning of the end for the huge numbers of undifferentiated video sites that started jutting out a few years ago.
    i wrote about this phenomenon waiting to happen, as recently as a couple of days ago: http://weareindia.blogspot.com/2008/01/algorithmically-human-societies.html

    although i must say revver was one of the nicer folks, with an actual vision for disruption in the online video space, and i didn't expect them to be among the first.

    wonder what went wrong. too much capital infusion too quickly, without much of a biz model to go with? i'm equally curious about how the economics of white-labeling their API went, seeing as they generously offered to foot the bandwidth bills for each white-label site.

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  2. Funny story: about six months ago, we went through a bunch of outreach projects, trying to get some tie ins to other start ups with a comparable and compatible audience with our own.

    Revver's response to our proposal? To never get back to us, not even to return our email. Sheesh, guys, it's not like we wanted MONEY we wanted to give you traffic.

    The first sign a company is headed for the toilet? When free traffic is looked at as a "problem" and they don't bother doing any meaningful business development.

    Ironically, our traffic according to quantcast is now higher than theirs…if they still want to do a deal, I'll do the same for them that they did for us: move their email to the bit bucket.

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  3. Jeremy,

    Are you telling me that this fine gentleman from the Bugle Boys, with a BA in Communications, is not doing his job? =)
    http://revver.com/who_is/brian-mccarthy

    (actually, he sounds like their ad sales guy…they have too many people focused on running their network, to actually worry about how they grow).

    maybe that's the problem…they had no growth strategy…

    thx for the thought.

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  4. As someone close to people there, I can say that Revver's failure came down to severe CEO and upper management incompetence which resulted in no Ad model, and no tangible traffic growth or partnerships by Bus. Dev. It was a good concept with good buzz, that never had the right people at the helm.

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  5. Frances,

    are you referring to pre-Steven Starr, or post-Steven Starr situations? Or both?

    thanks for the insight.

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  6. I'm a professional content producer and posted a video on Revver not long ago. The ad that was inserted in front of my video was a "Girls Gone Wild" ad. Ouch! I pulled the vid from the site. My series "PHC" is the number 1-2 hit for extreme sports on Google video and YouTube, so the possibilities for advertising are endless. Revver became revolutionary for its ad share model offered to users. I'm guessing they found it was difficult selling advertising for the user generated stuff, tried to change course with professionally produced content, now poof, are out of money… Revver is well known to the casual user, so with the right management perhaps they can turn the company around? It is all about professionally produced content in my opinion, and how you are able to leverage advertising around it.

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  7. BLAME IT ON REVVER"S LEGAL TEAM: KEN HERTZ
    That is right, Revver was a good idea.
    But it was handled in quite a disastrous style
    by a pair of lawyers Ken Hertz and Fred Goldring
    I think their names are. I used to work there,
    and these guys tried to be 'creative' and 'marketers' for the web…just
    like the same lawyer folks who killed the music biz…Hertz and his sidekick
    don't have that skill set ! They alienated everyone, and now have to sell us at firesale for nothing, at great loss to investors. What kind of smart busniesssense is that? Not very good mssrs Goldring and Hertz ! Those guys are not very smart it seems, and too bad for Revver and Steven Starr..if only my boss had better judgement finding wiser business partners than those bunch of clowns. Of course, BevHills address… pompous , righteous fools.. ya know…so uncool to start with Mr. Starr. Now you can all can all drop together into the failure sinkhole called Revver…. INSTANT KARMA ! Lawyers tryin to be internet pioneers … sure fire recipe for disaster, get those guys off the web..that includes Starr who's himself a former lawyer and…(gulp) agent (!)…from William Morris trying to reinvent himself as digital guy. Pathetic. And the end of Revver. We will miss ya ole girl ! From a loyal employee for 3 years…

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