Spotter, a two-year-old startup that acquires rights to the video catalogs of YouTubers, announced $200 million in new funding led by Japan’s SoftBank. Spotter said that gives it a valuation of $1.7 billion — and will let the company invest $1 billion with YouTube creators.
The Series D in financing from SoftBank Vision Fund 2 follows the $555 million in funding Spotter raised across three previously undisclosed rounds of financing. In addition to Softbank, Spotter’s investors include Access Industries, CoVenture, Crossbeam Venture Partners, GPS Investment Partners and HighPost Capital.
Spotter was founded in early 2019 by Aaron DeBevoise, who formerly co-founded Machinima and StyleHaul, two YouTube multichannel networks (MCNs) that aggregated multiple creators under one roof. Under Spotter’s next-gen MCN model, it pays creators up-front cash to license their existing content.
To date, Spotter has inked deals with some of the biggest creators on YouTube, including MrBeast, Dude Perfect, Like Nastya, Aphmau, and Smokin’ & Grillin’ wit AB.
“This latest investment from SoftBank Vision Fund 2 is a testament to the creator economy maturing into a new era,” DeBevoise said in a statement. “Following years of development in technology and data collection, we’re proud that Spotter has emerged as the market leader in this progression — building the bridge that allows creators to transform their channels into their own individual enterprises. This new investment allows us to continue being the preeminent partner to creators.”
MrBeast, the nom de internet of Jimmy Donaldson, said he worked with Spotter to finance his Spanish-language channel “because the cost of dubbing is expensive and the revenue on YouTube is delayed — you don’t get it instantly. By partnering with Spotter, I was able to keep dubbing videos and uploading.”
Spotter claims its portfolio of licensed content — comprising hundreds of thousands of videos — has generated more than 40 billion minutes of watch time per month and reaches more than 1.2 billion subscribers.
“We believe that Spotter is supercharging the growth of this ecosystem by equipping creators with the capital, network and technology tools to grow their businesses from solopreneurs to enterprises,” Kristin Bannon, investment director at SoftBank Investment Advisers, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be partnering with the Spotter team to support their mission of accelerating creative potential.”