Blog Post

Generate Raises $6M for Web Stars’ Shows

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.”

12 Responses to “Generate Raises $6M for Web Stars’ Shows”

  1. mcfan08

    Clark Duke and Michael Cera are absolutely hilarious! I’m really enjoying this series so far.

    Liz, did you know that web series and webisodes like “ITM” are now allowed on the ballot for this year’s Primetime Emmys? I’m working with the Academy to help spread the message about the new entries, and it would really be great to see a show like “ITM” to win an Emmy! If you’re interested, check out for more information.

    The first entry deadline is April 7th, so definitely pass the word on to other web series’ creators so they can enter =)

  2. Like many others in the world of oldteevee, even Jordan Levin of Generate thinks this is all about distribution and monetization. It isn’t. It’s about delivering an interactive experience and creating a true community of fans.

    The internet is not an inert platform. A web site isn’t a dumb end point of distribution. Existing Pay TV and advertising models are defunct. Well, you can try and re-create them or put a new spin on them, but your days are numbered.

    As for Talent becoming the scarce resource, I’m not sure on Jordan’s logic.

    If you think about, talent was scarce before. It was dumbed down. It was pushed into a hierarchy that was dominated by studios and the blockbuster. The celebrities share the lions share of the wealth. The rest work in restaurants to make a living, a generalisation I know.

    Generate is a new micro-studio. With more freedom they can create more niche content. They will have more flexibility to bring new talent forward, which is great

    However, with zero-cost distribution and low cost of production, talent is everywhere. Controlling their own destiny. Talent is relatively more abundant than it was before, not more scarce.

    Which means, the $6MM Generate raised, will not go very far. Why?

    With an explosion of talent, and the tools to create and distribute, you have an explosion of content. Generate isn’t competing against the major studios to gain fans of edgy, new content. It’s competing against hundreds, thousands or actually millions of other people and groups out there.

    How does Generate produce a clear signal in the noise? How do they make sure the 6 big ones creates enough success, big enough to reinvest and guarantee the continuation of the business? Too many poor performing works and they are over.