User-generated video startup Vidme — which describes itself as a hybrid of YouTube and Reddit — has closed $6 million in Series A funding.
The new investment was led by NEA with participation from previous investors including Upfront Ventures, First Round Capital, Lowercase Capital, SV Angel and Mucker Capital. Vidme last year raised a seed round of $3.2 million, after launching in 2014 as a simple video-sharing utility.
The L.A.-based company claims to have nearly 1 million registered creators and more than 25 million unique monthly users, with a demographic profile that skews toward males 18-30 in the U.S.
Vidme groups user videos into different community-curated categories — akin to subreddits — including gaming, animation, “Weird Wide Web,” and movies and entertainment.
“Our initial product radically simplified video publishing, and the new round of funding is helping us grow our community and develop new ways for creators to build audience and earn money,” said co-founder Warren Shaeffer. Whereas YouTube is “trying to be everything to everyone,” he added, Vidme is more focused on helping creators get discovered and connect with fans.
Vidme’s revenue model, right now, is based on the recently introduced tipping feature: Fans can donate money to their favorite creators, and the company keeps 5% of the donation. In addition, it’s testing programmatic advertising for the service, although Shaeffer emphasized that those won’t be pre-roll video ads.
“Patreon and Twitch show that fans are increasingly supporting creators directly,” said Shaeffer.
Vidme has nine full-time employees, including co-founders Shaeffer and chief product officer Alex Benzer, and is looking to hire technology and community staff.
According to Shaeffer, the largest 100 channels on Vidme have over 60 million followers across other social platforms. Featured creators on the service include King of Random, Ozzy Man Reviews, Piemations, Wisecrack and Your Movie Sucks. Anybody can upload videos to Vidme, but the company vets and handpicks top creators that it features on its front page.
Prior to founding Vidme, Benzer was founder and CEO of SocialEngine, a developer of white-label community software tools, where Shaeffer was COO.