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Google leads $35M funding round for Machinima

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Gaming-focused video programmer Machinima has received another round of funding, this one totaling $35 million and led by distribution partner Google (s GOOG).

While Google has given what amounts to seed money to its video production partners in the past, this contribution marks the first time the company has offered major capital backing for one of them.

Redpoint Ventures and MK Capital also contributed to the Los Angeles-based production company’s fourth funding round. Through three previous rounds, all led by MK Capital, Machinima raised $14.6 million.

Machinima has emerged as Google-owned YouTube’s third most popular video channel, commanding 23.1 million unique viewers in April, according to research company comScore. Notably, Machinima offers better engagement than any other top YouTube channel, with viewers, on average, spending 65 minutes in April viewing it, comScore said.

Machinima said the funding will be invested into its “content and global sales operations, international expansion, distribution strategies, and product and technology initiatives, as the company strives to create a global video programming brand that transforms the way a new generation.”