Blip.tv, a web television network that hosts shows, series and video blogs, announced today that it raised an undisclosed amount in a second round of financing led by Bain Capital Ventures. It also said it has seen a 250 percent jump in video views over the past year, hitting 51 million views in September.
The New York-based company plans to use the new money to beef up its advertising platform and forge more syndication relationships, it says. In addition to hosting videos on its site, Blip currently distributes 37,000 web shows — which each produce an average of three new episodes a month — across a field of content partners, including iTunes, AOL Video, and Verizon FiOS.
Founded in 2005, the company bills itself as a one-stop shop for video producers to publish, distribute and market their content. And it is already getting attention from high-profile content partners, including Michael Eisner’s Tornante Company and muckraking documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, who will use Blip.tv to distribute his new movie Slacker Uprising online.
Right now Blip.tv’s goal is to develop its advertising capabilities to bring in more revenue. Most of the advertising takes the form of show sponsorships (Unilever, Puma and Holiday Inn Express have already signed on), and Blip.tv splits the proceeds with the video makers. It’s a crowded area, though, for online video startups looking for a piece of the pie. Peers Revver and MEVIO are also operating broad video sharing networks of their own. Blip differentiates itself from some rivals by placing no limits on file size or video length. It also earns points for giving the video providers control over which ads they want to run and providing more detailed viewership statistics than sites like YouTube.
Blip.tv’s last round of funding came in July 2006. The amount contributed by private investors was undisclosed.
Update: The company announced Nov. 17 that the round of funding amounted to $5.2 million.