Saturday, October 23, 2010

Poptent raises $3M for crowdsourced video

Network of filmmakers have a hub for finding advertising projects that actually pay
Financial trends and news by Ronny Kerr October 21, 2010

Poptent, a social network for video creators formerly known as XLNTads, has raised a $3 million Series A round of funding, led by by MK Capital partner Yair Landau. The company also hired Andy Jedynak, a Poptent board member, as its new CEO.

The Los Angeles-based community is a place for video creators to build and display their portfolio, collaborate with other creators and actors, and, perhaps strangest of all for the amateur LA filmmaker, make money in video by creating commercials for advertisers and brands.

Companies post an assignment to Poptent, users on the site accept the assignment and submit their creation before the deadline, and then the company selects as many winning submissions as it likes.

Here’s the latest example of a project assignment from Intel, which already 50 people have accepted:

In our newest assignment, Intel is looking to purchase at least two :30-:60 second video that will build awareness and excitement around ultra-thin laptops featuring Intel® Core™ Ultra-Low Voltage (ULV) processors. Ideally, they’d like people passing this along to friends and family, with the end result of having consumers purchase these computers for their computing needs while on-the-go. Intel will purchase at least two videos for use, and their creators will each receive $5,000, a total minimum purchase of $10,000.

Sounds like a boon for budding filmmakers, who want to earn money using their skills, and for major brands, which want to cut costs and advertising expenses.

“As audiences consume ever more video online, advertisers need a high-quality low-cost way to reach them,” said Landau. “Poptent has cracked the code on successfully crowdsourcing commercial video providing its producer community great opportunities to generate highly original video for major brands.”

With over 20,000 users creating video for the site and repeat customers like Procter & Gamble, Nestle, and Anheuser-Busch, Poptent is already profitable.

MK Capital is a Chicago- and Los Angeles-based venture capital firm that invests in digital media, data center automation, software, and education technology companies at all stages. Previous clients of MK Capital include gamer video network Machinima, mobile location-based platform Geodelic, and digital media producers Generate. MK joins a group of local angels as investors in Poptent, which has now raised a total of $6.8 million.

Poptent says it will use the new funding to continue to grow, make new hires, and increase activity in sales, marketing, and client support.
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