By Sahil Patel
Jukin Media has raised its first round of financing: $1 million from a group of investors that includes Maker Studios, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, Launchpad LA, and LA-based angels including Richard Wolpert, the former president of Disney Online, and Brad Zions, the former director of AOL International.
The company says it will “rely” on these investors for “more than just their financial contribution.”
The investment follows a multi-part deal between Jukin Media and Maker Studios, which is now managing the presence of Jukin’s YouTube network, as well as developing a branded site for the company’s popular fail-video Fail Army channel. (The arrangement between Jukin and Maker also calls for the two to co-develop and produce original content and formats using Jukin’s immense library of user-generated clips.)
Jukin, founded and overseen by CEO Jonathan Skogmo, specializes in finding, acquiring, and then licensing user-generated clips to brands and media companies. To date, the company has worked with the likes of CNN, MTV, NBC, and Yahoo, as well as various production companies and advertising agencies, among others.
The company is profitable, says Skogmo. But with the money round, which was limited to $1 million and “a small group of investors,” Jukin will be able to build-out its technology and infrastructure and scale operations.
Launched in 2009, Jukin Media now has 40 full-time staffers at its Culver City headquarters, as well as a half-dozen employees in Europe. The company says its international presence is “growing.”
This is the latest YouTube-ecosystem company that BDMI has invested in. The digital investment arm of Bertelsmann also has a stake in beauty-fashion-style network StyleHaul. The media conglomerate’s European broadcaster, RTL Group, has also invested in StyleHaul as well as BroadbandTV.