Los Angeles-based video publisher EQAL confirmed it’s raising some cash in an effort to bolster its sales and business development teams while trying to grow its platform for social publishing. According to an SEC filing, the company raised $650,000 of a $3.5 million funding round. Investors were not disclosed.
EQAL got its start in video production with the hit web series lonelygirl15, but since then has moved to build out a platform for social publishing called Umbrella. According to CEO Miles Beckett, EQAL has shifted its focused from creating its own video content to helping marketers and celebrities organize and distribute their videos over various social services.
The company has been an especially big hit with branded content campaigns, such as Kraft Foods’ (s kft) Real Women of Philadelphia campaign, which sought recipes from readers to be judged in a cook-off hosted by celebrity chef Paula Deen. In addition to Paula Deen, EQAL’s social publishing tools are used by folks like Randy Jackson, Lauren Conrad and Michelle Phan.
The financing comes after EQAL bought out previous investor Spark Capital, because the two disagreed on the future direction of the company. Beckett said the two parted ways because they didn’t see eye to eye on how to make money online. “They wanted to go one way and we wanted to go another way,” he said.
EQAL is raising capital despite the fact that it has been cash-flow positive since the third quarter of last year, according to Beckett. “We saw this opportunity to take on funding to grow faster than we would by growing off own revenues,” he said. That includes making some executive hires, bringing total personnel to about 50 employees.