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Indie Supporter Blip Raises Funding

Blip.tv, a video-hosting site popular with independent creators, has raised its first round of venture funding, to be formally announced Tuesday. The investment was led by Ambient Sound Investments, and included Lauder Partners as well as individual investors. Blip CEO Mike Hudack would not disclose the amount of the round, saying only it consists of “millions of dollars.”

Two-year-old New York City-based blip had previously raised angel funding. The company specializes in helping independent video creators with hosting, distribution, and monetization. It offers a two-tiered approach, with a 50-50 split on a blend of automated ads available to all registered users, and representation and sponsorship assistance for selected creators who have already built sizable and/or devoted followings.

Hudack told NewTeeVee blip is not out to be a talent agent, but rather offer services to online shows along the life cycle of their growth.

“We think the economics of video have fundamentally changed – we think you don’t need Jeff Zucker out there signing programming. We’re not king makers; we’re a platform. We’re not buying the show; we’re letting the show maintain their own upside, and we’re not making huge bets.”

Of his funders, Hudack said they were chosen due to their operations and scaling experience. “They’re not [just] finance people, not people who spend their time telling people how to run a company when they’ve never run a company.”

Investor Toivo Annus, managing partner at Talinn, Estonia-based ASI and a founding engineer at Skype along with his venture partners, said he was drawn to blip because of its “narrow focus” amidst a sea of YouTube clones.

“They really have an understanding of a market sector and how it’s under-supplied by the frameworks,” he praised. Annus said he was not yet familiar with how ASI’s dollars would be spent. Hudack (who explained that Taavet Hinrikus, also a Skype founding engineer and an advisor at ASI, is working with blip on a day-to-day basis) told us the funding will be applied to new hires in sales, business development, and content creation advising.

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