Photo: Chill / screencap
William Morris endeavour and venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers have led an $8 million Series A investment round in social video start-up Chill, the company announced on Wednesday.Chill’s 18 million registered users come to the site to watch popular videos, talk about them and share them.
The company has gone through a few different iterations since its launch last August, but this latest incarnation is as a platform for social video, which it sees an emerging industry.
“Right now there really hasn’t been anyone who has cracked idea of making video social,” Dan Gould, co-founder of Chill, told TheWrap.
Though people share YouTube videos, there is no site to tell people what their friends are watching and when, Gould said. This applies to not just online videos but films and sporting events as well.
Chill seeks to aggregate videos from disparate sources, be it YouTube, Thrillist or TMZ, and enable discovery. It is integrated with Facebook and anticipates partnerships with other social media companies a well.
The company may also use the money to launch apps, build out staff and continue work on the user interface.
Though WME’s seven-figure investment is not monumental for the agency, its involvement reflects the agency’s increasing involvement in digital and social ventures.
“Agencies own a vital piece of the value chain,” co-founder Brian Norgard told TheWrap. “The clients they represent have a massive footprint. Someone will learn how to extract value from those footprints.”
Chill already has partnerships with TMZ and Jimmy Kimmel Live, and both co-founders emphasised that their company, located in Hollywood, sees itself as the nexus of entertainment and technology.
Previous investors include Lady Gaga’s business manager Troy Carter, Michael Arrington’s CrunchFund and former CEO of MySpace Mike Jones.
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