Generate, a talent management and production startup focused on online video, has raised $6 million from Velocity Interactive Group and MK Capital. The two-year-old company, which was previously self-funded, has an impressive roster of web stars signed, among them the Blame Society (Chad Vader), Clark Duke (Clark and Michael), Improv Everywhere, and Kathleen Grace (The ‘Burg, The All-for-Nots).
Santa Monica, Calif.-based Generate has acquired female assassin series Pink, a success in its own right with 4 million views under its belt (first episode embedded above), and is producing a reality television recap show LaQuisha as well as a comedy show called Knockers (promo embedded below).
Generate just got out of an exclusive deal with MTV Networks and is ready to explore the promise of broad syndication on the Internet, said CEO Jordan Levin, who was previously CEO of the WB Network. “We’re big believers that the model that makes the most sense, for Generate, at least, is to monetize around content, not around a specific channel, and to get as wide a reach as possible,” Levin said.
Levin is looking to use Generate’s new funding to finance production of shows and build direct inroads to advertisers who will sponsor and integrate their products into its shows. The company will offer a greater ownership stake and a greater share of shows’ profits to its talent than competitors such as Vuguru, which is behind Grace’s All-for-Nots, Levin said. After digital, he hopes that deals in TV, film and publication await.
And as distribution and monetization improve online, said Levin, “The talent will become the scarce resource.”