Fullscreen Closes Series A Round from Chernin Group, Comcast, and WPP
Fullscreen has closed a Series A funding round led by The Chernin Group, with additional contributions from Comcast Ventures and WPP Digital. While the announcement didn’t disclose the amount that was raised in the Series A round, a report from AllThingsD in April pegged it at $30 million. When reached for comment, a Fullscreen spokesperson declined to confirm the exact amount.
Fullscreen plans to use the new funds to continue developing its SaaS technology, which allows brands, media companies, and content creators to build audiences for videos and channels on YouTube. The company also has his eyes on developing more original content and expanding its presence worldwide. “This influx of capital will help us accelerate our goal of building a global media company, funding new content initiatives, continuing to invest into new technologies, and furthering our rapid expansion into international markets,” said Fullscreen CEO George Strompolos.
It’s interesting to see who the major contributors are in the Series A round. The Chernin Group, an early-stage investor in Fullscreen, has been in the news quite a lot recently as it is one of a growing number of suitors for Hulu. Comcast Ventures is part of the Comcast/NBCUniversal media behemoth, and has employed Fullscreen in the past to grow NBC Entertainment’s presence on YouTube.
“NBC Entertainment was the first network to use Fullscreen to manage and optimize their presence on YouTube and that successful implementation gave us confidence in their platform, company, and team,” said Sam Landman, principal at Comcast Ventures.
Then there’s WPP Digital, the digital investment arm of holding company WPP. Describing why his company chose to invest in Fullscreen, Mark Read, CEO of WPP Digital, said: “Fullscreen’s model offers unique solutions for both brands and talent, and incredible opportunities for collaboration on both sides. Our partnership with Fullscreen will give our agencies and clients new expertise, insights, technology, and access to help connect with consumers on the world’s largest video platform.”
To us, this is another example of a marriage between old media and new media. Companies like The Chernin Group, Comcast/NBCUniversal, and WPP want access to the YouTube audience that Fullscreen provides. And the MCN does have access: Its network encompasses more than 10,000 channels, 150 million subscribers, and 2.5 billion monthly views. Not to mention a technology platform that not only allows clients to not only tap into this network to get their message out, but to also get that message to the right audiences.
For Fullscreen, it now has the money it needs to expand beyond its core products and services to become a full-fledged global media company, which means creating, developing, and owning more original content, which means more money.