×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jason Kilar’s Vessel Raises $57.5 Million Led by IVP to Build Out Subscription-Video Service

Vessel, the subscription-oriented digital video service founded by ex-Hulu CEO Jason Kilar, has raised $57.5 million in Series B funding, led by Institutional Venture Partners (IVP).

The new funding brings Vessel, based in San Francisco, to more than $134 million in capital raised to date. Vessel’s Series A investors — Greylock Partners, Benchmark and Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’ Bezos Expeditions — also participated in the round.

The startup last month launched its $2.99-per-month service, promising exclusive early access to content from 130-plus partners. Vessel also offers free, ad-supported content — which is not exclusive — from a total of more than 175 creators and media companies.

To earn money from the subscription service, YouTubers and other creators must grant Vessel a minimum 72-hour exclusive window on the content, after which they’re free to distribute it anywhere. Vessel says it will pay content partners 60% of subscription revenue and 70% of ad revenue.

“If you had to back one team to build the world’s most advanced and user-friendly video platform, this would be the team,” IVP general partner Todd Chaffee wrote in a blog post. “Vessel’s founders, Jason Kilar (CEO) and Richard Tom (CTO), are incredibly talented entrepreneurs with a great track record of success.” Chaffee led IVP’s previous investments in Netflix, Twitter and other consumer-oriented tech companies.

Video creators and producers that have signed on to debut videos on Vessel in the three-day exclusive window include “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”; multichannel networks MCNs like Machinima, Tastemade and DanceOn; A+E Networks and Discovery Communications; YouTube creators Rhett & Link, Shane Dawson, Connor Franta and GloZell Green; FailArmy; and Legendary Pictures’ Nerdist Industries.

Vessel’s partners for non-exclusive content (in the free version of the service) include NBCUniversal’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Late Night With Seth Meyers”; the NBA; Funny or Die; CollegeHumor; BuzzFeed; and Vevo, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group.

Vessel plan to use the additional funding to grow the business, to expand headcount (currently about 40 employees), content partnerships and marketing.

“If you’re passionate about video, media and technology, we’re hiring — let’s chat!” Kilar wrote in a blog post announcing the new round of financing, which evidently doubled as a help-wanted ad.

More Digital

  • Alibaba Buys 8% Stake in Chinese

    Alibaba Buys 8% Stake in Chinese Video Platform Bilibili

    Alibaba has purchased an 8% stake in the Chinese online video platform Bilibili, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Bilibili is one of China’s top video streaming and entertainment platforms, with about 92 million monthly active users and 450 million page-views per day. Founded in 2009, it was listed on the NASDAQ last March. Alibaba’s [...]

  • Clevver-Logo

    Hearst Magazines Buys Clevver's Pop-Culture YouTube Channels After Defy's Demise

    Hearst Magazines has snapped up Clevver, a network of female-skewing lifestyle and pop-culture news YouTube channels that had been owned by now-defunct Defy Media. Clevver was left homeless after Defy’s sudden shutdown in November; its principals said at the time they were looking for a new home. Hearst Magazines sees a digital fit with Clevver’s [...]

  • "Brother" -- Episode 201-- Pictured (l-r):

    CBS Interactive's Marc DeBevoise on Streaming Boom, Content Strategy, and Apple

    Not everyone wants or needs to be Netflix to succeed in the streaming space. And not everyone sees Apple’s enigmatic new service as a threat. Even as rival streaming services offer gobs of content, CBS Interactive’s president and COO Marc DeBevoise sees the company’s targeted original programming strategy continuing to attract viewers to its All [...]

  • Rhett-Link-Good-Mythical-Morning

    Rhett & Link's Mythical Entertainment in Talks to Acquire Smosh (EXCLUSIVE)

    Smosh, the YouTube comedy brand left stranded after parent company Defy Media went belly-up, may be about to get a new business partner. Mythical Entertainment, the entertainment company founded by top YouTube comedy duo Rhett & Link, has been in talks about acquiring the Smosh brand, sources told Variety. Multiple potential buyers came forward to [...]

  • Pokemon Go

    Proposed 'Pokémon Go' Lawsuit Settlement May Remove Poké Stops, Gyms

    A proposed settlement in the class action lawsuit against “Pokémon Go” developer Niantic could remove or change a number of Poké Stops and Gyms in the popular augmented reality game. The proposed settlement was filed in a California court on Thursday and applies to anyone in the U.S. who owns or leases property within 100 meters [...]

  • Skyline of Doha at night with

    Qatar's beIN Rallies Support From U.S. Companies Against Pirate Broadcaster beoutQ

    Qatari powerhouse beIN Media Group has rallied support from American sports and entertainment entities, including Discovery and Fox, behind its request that the U.S. government place Saudi Arabia on its watch list of top intellectual property offenders. The Doha-based broadcaster, a state-owned spinoff of Al Jazeera news network, accuses the Saudi government of harboring pirate broadcaster [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content