JW Player, the video platform that competes with Brightcove and Ooyala as a service provider for major publishers, has raised $20 million in Series D funding led by its existing investors — Greycroft Growth, Greenspring Associates, Cueball Capital and e.ventures. According to a release, the funding will be used to expand internationally and support marketing efforts globally. Perhaps the most interesting allocation of the funds will be towards a new insights product that JW Player will build called the “Independent Video Ecosystem.”
JW Player’s Independent Video Ecosystem will give publishers, content creators and advertisers actionable insights to maximize audience, engagement and monetization. According to JW Player president Chris Mahl, “Independent publishers demand the ability to grow audiences, deepen viewer engagement, own the viewer experience, and ultimately, to have more control over their video revenue,” which was a driving factor in launching the new product, especially for those publishers who no longer want to live in a “walled garden,” he added.
The company, which was founded in 2005, provided the infrastructure that powered most of the early online video platforms, including YouTube, until it was acquired by Google. Over the last few years, it has made a strong comeback as it changed from a single video hosting tool to a platform, an ad stack and a mobile video forward company.
“For JW Player, 2015 was a banner year as we successfully doubled our SaaS revenue, released several innovative products to market and expanded the depth and quality of our team,” said Dave Otten, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of JW Player. “As a result of these efforts, well over one billion people now consume video on a JW Player each month, which is a huge milestone. With this new round of financing, we are poised to build on this momentum for years to come and continue our drive towards creating our Independent Video Ecosystem.”