metacafelogo.bmpInvestors have poured $30 million more into video site Metacafe, the popular online video site.

This is a significant amount of money for a company that already raised $15 million. But the support may be necessary if Metacafe is to stay among the front-runners. It is the seventh most popular video site, according to Nielsen/NetRatings, behind companies with many more resources, such as Google’s YouTube and the video sites of other giants such as Yahoo, MSN and MySpace. (Update: Hitwise, meanwhile puts Metacafe in eighth place. See below)

YouTube used only $11.5 million in venture backing, before it was bought by Google for $1.6 billion.

The round was led by new investors Highland Capital Partners and DAG Ventures. Existing backers Accel Partners and Benchmark Capital also contributed to the round, first by VentureWire today (subscription only).

[Update: We just talked with chief exec Erick Hachenburg. He says Metacafe is arguably the largest independent video site. While Veoh rivals Metacafe on some metrics, Veoh doesn’t focus as much on short-form video. Metacafe’s traffic has doubled in the U.S. so far this year, to more than 6 million uniques a month, from 3 million, Hachenburg notes. Globally, uniques climbed to 26 million from 17 million.]

[Update II: The company wouldn’t comment on valuation, but says it is higher than when the company raised its previous round.]

The Tel Aviv, Israeli company moved its headquarters to Palo Alto, Calif. last year to partake of Silicon Valley’s technology savvy.

We wrote about Metacafe here, explaining how it filters videos before they hit the front page. It relies on a technology called “video rank,” which watches how users interact with a video for signs suggesting popularity (for example, if they watch it several times). It also relies on a community of a 100,000 review panelists to provide a thumbs-up on a popular video.

Several months ago, there were rumors that the company was selling itself. The company’s founder Arik Czerniak stepped aside earlier this year.


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