Technology

Chernin Group invests in online video firm Base79

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MUMBAI: The Chernin Group (TCG) has acquired a strategic equity stake in European online video company Base79. Also participating in this round of equity financing is existing investor MMC Ventures.

The investment is estimated to be $10 million for a 20 per cent stake. Funds have come from the investment that Chernin recently got from a Qatar company.

Base79 partners with video rights holders and producers to build online audiences and brands, claim and protect their intellectual property, sell premium advertising, and generate new revenue streams on YouTube and other OTT platforms.

Base79, which claims to be the largest YouTube network in the Europe, Middle East and Asia (EMEA) region, said proceeds from the round will be used to accelerate Base79’s expansion across Europe and into other global territories, to build owned-and-operated brands and channels, and to invest in the company’s products and technology.

The company’s proprietary technology and processes for increasing YouTube channel subscribers and views, and establishing ad sales leadership, enables its clients to significantly increase their reach and revenues in online video.

With more than 300 premium content partners, including BBC Worldwide, Endemol’s Tiger Aspect, IMG Media, Simon Cowell’s SyCo, Ministry of Sound, Guinness World Records as well as a number of leading YouTube content creators, Base79 generates more than 550 million views per month across nearly 550 channels on YouTube, and is the largest

YouTube multi-channel network based in the UK. Base79 recently received four original programming grants from YouTube, more than any other company in Europe.

Founded in 2007, the company has offices in London, New York and Sydney, and has plans to increase its presence in continental Europe within the next 12 months.

Base79 founder, CEO Ashley MacKenzie said, “We’re thrilled to receive this additional investment and recognition for our business from The Chernin Group, in addition to ongoing support from MMC Ventures. TCG’s industry leading expertise and track record in content, digital media, brand building, international expansion and monetisation will be

invaluable as we accelerate the Company’s international growth and distribution of premium video content across multiple platforms and devices. We have experienced extraordinary growth and believe this partnership will allow a new chapter of even greater opportunity.”

TCG founder, CEO Peter Chernin said, “Base79 has established itself as one of the clear leaders in online video, an exciting space that we believe is positioned to grow faster than any other area of media. Base79 is one of Europe’s fastest-growing young media companies, and we look forward to partnering with the company and its management team to help build on its vision and capitalise on further opportunities

for growth.”

YouTube global head of entertainment Alex Carloss said, "We view The Chernin Group‘s investment in a key partner like Base79 as a sign of the growth of the YouTube ecosystem in Europe. Base79‘s deep expertise in rights management and the YouTube platform will continue to help partners control and grow their content businesses on YouTube."

MMC Ventures managing partner Bruce Macfarlane said, “MMC Ventures has always believed in Base79 - its concept, technology, and team - and have been excited to invest from an early stage. We are therefore delighted to be continuing our support for Base79, alongside The Chernin Group, and look forward to its further growth and success.”

In October 2012, after securing four new channel partnerships as a part of YouTube’s new original channels initiative, Base79 announced that it had become Europe’s largest YouTube original programming partner. The four new channels resulting from the partnership are:

• /Football

With leading sports media company IMG as a key content producer, Slash

Football is a premium video football network centered and driven by

football fans. Base79 will create a series of programs that focus on

and appeal to football fans, providing real, reactive and opinionated

views and discussions.

• /Flow

Flow is a celebration of movement sports, in particular parkour. It

brings together compelling new content from the world’s best urban

movement athletes, powered by Base79‘s parkour hub of more than 60

athletes and free-running content creators. Flow is a brand and

platform to inspire and encourage young people to be active and

adventurous.

• Guinness World Records: OMG!, from Base79 and Guinness World Records

“Guinness World Records: OMG!” is a new YouTube channel highlighting

YouTube stars who challenge and encounter record-breaking people and

places. The channel features 100% new and original material from the

legendary arbiter of all things record-setting and record-breaking.

• Bad Teeth, from Base79 and Hat Trick Productions

Bringing sketches, animation, and celebrity guest-hosted pranks together for a thoroughly entertaining experience, Bad Teeth blends the funniest and most popular YouTube stars with mainstream celebrities from the Hat Trick stable to create unexpected, water-cooler content people will want to share.

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