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Startup Victorious Launches Mobile-App Platform with YouTube Stars Including Michelle Phan

Victorious, a startup whose founders include former YouTube execs, announced the launch of its platform designed for YouTube creators to control their own direct relationships with fans.

The L.A.-based company is working with YouTubers including Michelle Phan, Shay Carl, Boyce Avenue and Ryan Higa. The Victorious platform is designed to create their own branded mobile apps to interact with fans.

“YouTube, Twitter, Instagram — they’re amazing ways for audiences to become fans and discover content, but it’s more of a broadcast-consumption relationship,” said Victorious CEO and co-founder Sam Rogoway. “It’s great to aggregate audiences on another platform, but you’re renting that platform.”

The first Victorious-based apps are expected to launch later in 2014. Rogoway said the app-creation tool supports both Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems.

With Victorious, each creator has “their own ecosystem,” Rogoway said, with the ability to decide what the app looks like, what content is on it and what features it includes. Victorious offers YouTubers a “sliding scale of revenue share” agreements, he said.

Founded in 2013, Victorious has raised $13 million in funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, investor and former Google exec Chris Sacca and ex-YouTube exec Dean Gilbert, according to Re/code. (The company declined to discuss investors or funding.) Gilbert, who is Victorious’ exec chairman, previously was VP, global head of content and operations at YouTube.

“Partnering with Victorious presents an incredible opportunity to broaden my capabilities in the mobile space,” Michelle Phan, who recently signed a deal with Endemol Beyond, said in a statement. “Through this exciting new hub, I now have the ability to create a destination for my YouTube, Ipsy, FAWN and Em followers where they can share, learn, and celebrate within the community while empowering each other. It’s a new age of experience.”

The Victorious mobile-app creation tool supports videos, photos and text, allowing creators and fans to share their favorite content to other platforms. The apps also can support in-app purchases and e-commerce transactions.

Rogoway previously founded travel social network TripUp, which was later acquired by Sidestep/Kayak. Victorious CTO and co-founder Michael Todd joined from online advertising exchange OpenX, where he was CTO, after previously leading engineering groups at Google. Victorious chief content officer Bing Chen was previously global creator development and management lead at YouTube, where he worked with content creators worldwide.

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