Zefr, which has focused on delivering tools for managing and optimizing YouTube videos, acquired social-media advertising startup Engodo as it looks to broaden marketing capabilities across a bigger digital sphere.
Engodo’s system is designed to match up brands on social media with the right creators on Vine, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat as well as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Zefr issued $886,939 worth of its stock in connection with the Engodo deal, according to an SEC filing; the deal possibly also included a cash component.
According to Zefr co-founder Zach James, Engodo’s focus on social platforms is a “perfect complement” to what Zefr has been doing for years on YouTube. “We saw what they were doing on Instagram, Vine and Snapchat, and knew we had found the right technology team to increase our reach cross-platform to help brands truly identify their biggest influencers,” James said in announcing the deal.
Zefr manages and monetizes professional rights for Hollywood studios and music labels. The company’s BrandID service is aimed at helping marketers identify their biggest fans, influencers and topics on YouTube and engage with them.
Deal comes after Zefr in February raised $30 million in a new financing led by Institutional Venture Partners that included participation from existing investors U.S. Venture Partners, Shasta Ventures, First Round Capital and Richmond Park Partners. It has raised about $53 million to date. Subsequently Zefr sold the MovieClips YouTube channel to Comcast’s Fandango.
Engodo’s three founders — Trygve Jensen, Brock Luker and Neal Williams — are joining Zefr as part of the acquisition. Zefr is based in Venice, Calif., with offices in New York, Boston and Chicago, and will retain Engodo’s office in Provo, Utah.
“Zefr is the thought leader connecting brands and fans through technology. We knew we could do more with Zefr, and we wanted to be part of that growth,” Jensen said in a statement. “The opportunity provided by combining Zefr’s leadership and Engodo’s assets completely changes the landscape of influencer marketing.”
Zefr’s media customers include Universal Pictures, Paramount, Warner Bros., Lionsgate, MGM, The Weinstein Co., NBCUniversal’s Bravo, Broadway Video’s Saturday Night Live, Sony Music and Warner Music Group. The firm says it manages more than 375 million online videos and tracks over 31 billion video views a month.
Privately held Zefr does not disclose financials but claims it has doubled annual revenue in each of the last three years. The firm was founded in 2009, initially launching as the MovieClips channel on YouTube.