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Deal Radar 2008: Revver

Posted on Thursday, Jun 26th 2008

Revver is a video sharing site that hosts user generated content. It was founded by Steven Starr, Ian Clarke and Oliver Luckett in 2004 and went live in 2005. Clarke and Luckett left the company in a management shakeup in 2006.

The first video sharing site to offer revenue share, Revver seemed like a viable alternative to YouTube. Revver attaches a tracking tag known as the RevTag, which automatically displays a clickable advertisement at the end of a video. Advertisers get charged when users click on the ad, and the advertising fee is split between Revver and the video creator. RevTags are trackable all over the web, and the monetization of the videos is not hampered even if they are downloaded or shared.

The revenue share model initially helped Revver get premium content. In 2006, Revver and Verizon Wireless entered into a deal under which Verizon Wireless agreed to carry videos from Revver to users who had subscribed to Verizon’s premium V CAST service. Revver split half the revenue it received from the wireless carrier with its video creators because the videos carried to the cell phones didn’t have any ads attached to them. But the revenue share model soon prevented a lot of good content from getting on the site. Thus while Revver managed to attract a lot of amateur video creators, most viewers stuck to YouTube for the content. Still, the site paid $1 million to video producers within the first year the service was introduced.

In 2007, Revver announced another deal with Verizon wherein Verizon FiOS TV and consumer broadband customers can access content from Revver. The deal allowed Verizon’s customers access to premium Revver videos in their living rooms, on their computers or on the go. In early 2008, there were reports that Revver was running out of money and was shopping itself for $300,000-$500,000 and assumption of its debt, which was in the $1 million range. Revver had previously raised $12.7 million: $4 million in a Series A round of funding from Bessemer Venture Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Draper Richards and $8.7 million in a Series B from Bessemer Venture Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Draper Richards and William Randolph Hearst III.

In March 2008, Live Universe acquired Revver for about $5 million. Under the deal, Revver will continue to operate as a separate branded property. In June 2008, Revver partnered with Revision3 to distribute the latter’s content. Under this deal, Revision3 will also be able to sell ads against the content on for additional revenue share (apart from Revver’s revenue model).

According to Quantcast, Revver attracts over 599,000 US monthly visitors whereas competitors like Veoh attract over 4 million US monthly visitors., which is also part of Live Universe’s family of companies, attracts over 1.5 million US monthly people. We hope that the merger and the new content deal will help Revver revive itself.

This segment is a part in the series : Deal Radar 2008

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