Epoxy Raises $6.5 Million From Maker Studios Investors Upfront Ventures, Time Warner Investments
Upfront Ventures and Time Warner Investments, two of the investors that benefited from Maker Studios' lucrative sale to Disney, have led a $6.5 million investment in Epoxy, a startup creating social tools for the online video ecosystem.
Existing investors Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, Advancit Capital, Greycroft Partners (another early Maker investor) and Downey Ventures contributed to the round. Upfront, headed by managing partner Mark Suster, also led Epoxy's first $2 million seed financing, which included investments from angel investors such as Maker CEO Ynon Kreiz and Machinima chairman Allen DeBevoise.
Epoxy CEO Juan Bruce tells THR that the addition of Time Warner as a lead investor is "a really important signal" that traditional media firms find value not just in the talent on YouTube but also in the technology built to support online video content creators.
"What we do at Epoxy, is build the tools specifically for engagement and distribution across social for online video," adds Bruce, who was formerly the digital chief at Robert Downey Jr.'s Team Downey. "That makes the traditional entertainment companies very interested in what we're doing. Time Warner sees that this isn't just about a YouTube business, it's about the future of entertainment."
Epoxy, which launched in May, provides a suite of tools for individual YouTube creators and traditional media firms to distribute to and engage with fans on other social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The technology allows its clients to interact across multiple platforms with their fans to grow their audience.
It's the multi-platform approach that co-founder Jason Ahmad points to as a selling point with Epoxy's studio and network clients. He also notes that Epoxy helps simplify the process of connecting with fans that comes more naturally to endemic YouTube stars.
"The typical YouTuber actively responds to their audience and engages with them to determine who is influential to help them grow," he says. "It's something that is not as easy for traditional media companies to do. It's important for them to be able to tell who is important and have their teams respond to that."
Epoxy will use the post-launch funding to build out its marketing, sales and strategic consulting teams. The company will also add to its engineering staff.