Los Angeles-based online video sharing platform Vidme announced a new round of funding Tuesday along with a new iOs app.
The $3.2 million round comes courtesy of Upfront Ventures, First Round Capital, Initialized (a fund from Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian), SV Angel, Lowercase, Mucker Capital, and Launchpad Capital. Vidme secured an initial round of funding worth $3 million last year.
Vidme, which was founded by Alex Benzer and Warren Shaeffer just over a year ago, enables quick-and-easy video uploads that are hosted and circulated on its site to relevant community sections. Part of its appeal is that users don’t need to register for an account on the site, though membership in premium options provides opportunities to use more tools.
The brand has emerged as the go-to video platform on Reddit much in the way imgur became its unofficial photo solution. Like Reddit, Vidme operates on its own website and mobile app as a meritocracy where users up-vote submitted videos, which are guaranteed viral spread if they rank among the most popular posts on the homepage.
With new funding in tow, the company is going to shift emphasis from mere video sharing to building out a content network that enables better discovery of that content on its front page and mobile app.
Another emphasis is to build more of a community-based framework organized around different content interests. As part of that effort, Vidme is bringing in pro animator Stefan Bucher to spearhead development of its animation network.
Shaeffer acknowledges that original content is in the company’s future, but no timetable is set.
“On our roadmap, we see it as an opportunity and almost an inevitability for what great companies need,” he said. “We are already talking to creators and exchanging ideas about what we would make with them.”
Vidme currently boasts 30 million unique visitors and 150 million page views per month. While it’s nowhere near to catching up to leading video platform YouTube, the company’s evolution may be opening a growth opportunity for Vidme.
“YouTube is gradually moving upmarket and alienating their core base users,” said Benzer. “A new generation of video creators are coming of age where YouTube isn’t the default anymore. ”
Vidme is aiming to make the move to monetization through a mix of five-second pre-roll ads, native advertising and allowing brands to target the audience segments separated by communities on the site.