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Five years ago, Zefr was a small Venice startup called MovieClips that worked with studios to legally distribute film clips online. Since then, the company has expanded to a suite of marketing, monetization and rights manage software tools for brands and video creators.
Zefr co-founders Zach James and Rich Raddon are looking to expand those offerings and grow their sales and marketing teams with the help of a $30 million cash infusion from Menlo Park investor Institutional Venture Partners. Existing investors U.S. Venture Partners, Shasta Ventures, First Round Capital and Richmond Park Partners also participated in the funding round.
IVP general partner Dennis Phelps, who led the firm’s investments in PopSugar and Snapchat, has joined Zefr’s board as part of the investment. IVP is no stranger to media investments; the company was also an early backer of Netflix and TiVo.
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“Zach and Rich are world-class entrepreneurs who saw a massive opportunity in thinking about the YouTube platform for large brands and content owners,” said Phelps. “Zefr is the market leader and delivers real value for its enterprise customers. We are thrilled to be part of the next phase of the company’s growth.”
Zefr currently works with clients such as Warner Bros., Saturday Night Live, Sony Music and Universal Pictures to help them find and monetize fan-uploaded videos. Zefr also operates a YouTube channel for film trailers that The Hollywood Reporter uses to cull data for its weekly Trailer Report.
Zefr, which had previously raised $28.5 million, has more than doubled its venture capital financing with the latest round. The company said it has been growing quickly, doubling the size of its engineering team and opening an office in New York.
Said James, “This is an exciting time for Zefr. Our software solution fills a huge need in the market, we have an incredible team and we have momentum. With the new capital, we are going to add fuel to the fire.”
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