Buy Together Die Together
Finally, a Bain Capital story that doesn’t involve the term “vulture capital.” This morning, Blip, a video network highlighting original web series, announced a financing round of more than $12 million. Bain Capital Ventures, Canaan Partners, and other previous investors contributed $6.5 million as well as debt from Silicon Valley Bank totaling about $6 million.
The company, formerly known as Blip.tv, filed a Form D in December of last year, signifying that they had already raised $6 million from Bain and Canaan Partners.
In the press release, Blip claimed revenue had grown 100 percent year-over-year thanks to 13 million monthly uniques in the U.S. and 30 million monthly viewers globally. The new funding, said Blip, will be used to develop tools and services for web series producers, invest in its advertising and distribution platforms, and “significantly expand” syndication relationships.
Betabeat spoke with Blip COO Steve Brookstein to talk about the competition for eyeballs, whether YouTube is a friend or foe, and if he’s voting for Bain founder Mitt Romney.
Betabeat has been covering the layoffs at BuyWithMe since Wednesday, when more than half the staff, at least 100 people, were laid off without warning or severance. There has been almost no word from the company or its management. As a result, we’ve had to rely mostly on anonymous sources who know bits and pieces. But over the last 24 hours, we’ve been able to put together some big pieces of the puzzle.
The statement released yesterday by CEO James Crowley, that the company was reorganizing to best serve its clients and customers, was disingenuous at best. Numerous sources Betabeat spoke with confirmed that BuyWithMe is looking to be acquired by a larger player in the daily deal space, and has been for some time now. The layoffs were intended to make it a more attractive purchase.
How did BuyWithMe end up in such dire straights? Betabeat has heard from a source that not only did the company purchase six smaller startups in the last six months, burning through some of its capital, but it also took out a $10 million debt round from its backers that was never disclosed to the press. That goes a long way towards explaining how the company got to where it is today.