The Race of Also-Rans: French Video Sharing Site Dailymotion Raises $34 Million; More To Come

5 Comments

If Veoh can raise $25 million, and Metacafe can up the stake to $30 million, then why not Dailymotion? The France-based online video sharing site has raised $34 million in its second round of funding, reports WSJ. The round was led by Advent Venture Partners of London and AGF Private Equity of Paris, a division of Allianz AG. The site has raised about $9.5 million in October last year from Atlas Venture and Partech International.

Dailymotion, which is based in Paris and was launched in 2005, has grown rapidly to reach some 37 million visitors a month, the story says. It was recently fined a modest $32K by a court in Paris for unlawfully carrying a clip from a 2005 movie by a French director. With this big round, the copyright infringement stakes are going to get higher, for sure. Last month Dailymotion rolled out Audible Magic copyright detection software on its site, which catches clips after they have been uploaded.

Dailymotion is also seeking to do deals with content companies..it has deal with Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group. Earlier today, French paper Les Echos reported, citing sources, that the site has been speaking to media companies for a strategic investment, and broadcaster TF1 and media group Viacom have been mentioned as potential investors.

5 Comments

Frank Sinton

I agree with Marshall. We are at the tip of the iceburg in terms of online video. Will there be a number of failures? Of course. But imagine if Google had listened to people who said "why the heck do we need another search engine" back when they started and Yahoo, Excite, Lycos, and others were dominating the market. Also, I guess Fox also was an "also ran" when they launched in the mid-80s against the "big 3" heavyweights ABC, CBS, and NBC.

My point being : as long as the # of eyeballs for online video continues to rise, there will be room for a number of winners, both large and small.

Marshall Kirkpatrick

Is there a 5X exit likely for each of these investments, perhaps not, but I respectfully submit that when we look at the history of this era, sites like Guba and Bolt (got good traffic, then dropped the ball) will be the exception, not the rule. The utility of these services is so powerful that once one is differentiated by traffic (in most cases that's the only differentiator, right?) then I don't think betting on them is nearly as crazy as many jaded, top tech bloggers make it sound. There's a lot of people that watch video online, and there's only going to be a whole lot more in the future. The above sites get, say 10% of the traffic YouTube does – that's a lot! It indicates to me that it's not crazy to think they could get more. Will that traffic equal money? Someday soon, it will. Having a ton of people hanging out somewhere and not knowing how to make money from them is not the kind of problem I'd bet against seeing solved in an industry so full of creative people.

Sorry for the long comment, but I really don't believe any of the above sites can be called also-rans yet, far from it, and I think the industry has a hell of a lot more juice than many people want to give it credit for.

Marshall Kirkpatrick

While these sums are high for sure, the cynicism in your headline was a surprise coming from someone who writes about scores of profitable companies in other sectors that get by just fine. Only a little imagination is required to see a future where all 3 of the companies you mention here are viable, not to mention Google.

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