"How To" Video Company, 5min, Raises $7.5 Million in Series B Round

--Plans to Use Funding to Develop its Online Video Syndication Technology

5min, a US-Israeli company that operates a syndication platform and destination Web site for how-to videos, announced last week that it has secured $7.5 million in Series B funding, bringing the amount it has raised to date to nearly $13 million. The round was led by new investor, Globespan Capital Partners, and also saw the participation of existing investor, Spark Capital. Globespan managing director, Jonathan Seelig, will now join 5min's board of directors.

5min syndicates its content through its semantic video engine, VideoSeed (which it bills as "matching relevant videos with targeted audiences"), and its proprietary video player to such sites as Answers, wikiHow, Wikia and Articlesbase, as well as to an array of vertical sites. According to the company, its platform reaches a potential audience of over 200 million unique monthly visitors, of which 14 million watch at least one video per month. The company says it has also built a multi-vertical content library of over 100,000 professionally produced videos through partnerships with such media companies and properties as Hearst Corporation's UGO Entertainment, Elle, Car & Driver, The Doctors, Pet Side, Britannica, Ford Models, Kiplinger, Big Think, WatchMojo, Road & Track, and Woman's Day. "While 5min has become the largest 'how-to' video destination site, we've also developed the only video platform that leverages a huge category-specific library to semantically syndicate the most relevant content to passionate audiences across the Web, wherever they exist," 5min co-founder and CEO, Ran Hamevo, said in a prepared statement. "We provide every site publisher with professionally produced content, a video technology platform, and a full video monetization solution--all in one free offering."

5min says that it will use the new financing to continue to grow its VideoSeed Semantic Syndication platform, which it claims allows virtually any Web property to "inject contextually relevant content, and a source of revenue from day one." It bills the platform as creating scalable TV channels for "brand-safe" content across major categories including business, food, health, home, garden, sports, technology and travel. "5min is 2009's answer to the impact of cable on broadcast TV in the 1970's and 1980's, bringing advertisers the opportunity to sell into specific categories with ads that reach an engaged vertical audience across a wide range of Web sites in a single purchase," Globespan's Seelig said in a prepared statement. "A brand can essentially sponsor an entire niche of targeted, enthusiastic consumers." Added Spark Capital general partner, Alex Finkelstein: "5min has beaten all of its milestones since we led the A Round, which include rapid growth in revenue, video views and syndication and content partners. We are very pleased to have Globespan and Jonathan Seelig join Spark as investors in 5min."

Middle East