French telecommunications firm Orange SA, formerly known as France Telecom, has decided to keep Dailymotion in house, investing $39.5 million (30 million euros) into the online video company.
Orange CEO Stéphane Richard says in Les Echos that the investment will go toward expanding the Dailymotion team by 60 people — which equals a third of the current workforce — mainly in France, and opening offices in Spain, Japan, Canada, and Brazil. Dailymotion will also focus on Germany, the UK, and the US as key markets for future growth.
Earlier this year, Yahoo tried to purchase a 75% of stake in Dailymotion for the reported price of $300 million. That deal fell through after the French government, hoping to keep Dailymotion as a French-run company, demanded that Yahoo agree to a 50–50 ownership split. Yahoo declined, which actually led to interest from other media companies, including CCM Benchmark, Lagardere, and Vivendi.
Orange wasn’t interested in selling though. “We decided, after discussion with the Dailymotion team, to implement a plan to develop the company within Orange,” said Richard. The company hopes to triple Dailymotion revenues (from $49 million in 2012 to $131 million) by 2016 .
What this means for Daily’s original content ambitions, including its Motionmaker project to fund original content from talented filmmakers as well as its plans for a production studio in the US, is not exactly clear. At the very least, Orange SA’s decision to pump nearly $40 million into Dailymotion signals a renewed faith in what it can do with the video platform.