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More Money for Mitu: The YouTube Network for Latinos Raises $10 Million

Upfront Ventures, which made a lot of money from Maker Studios, is hoping for a repeat.

Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Not very long ago, lots of investors shied away from companies built on top of YouTube: Too hard to make money, too dependent on Google’s whims.

Then Disney bought Maker Studios for somewhere between $500 million and $950 million. Now YouTube companies don’t look so bad.

Here’s another example: Mitu Inc., a Latino-focused YouTube network, has raised $10 million in a round led by Upfront Ventures — a fund that also bet early on Maker. Some of the investors who had previously put $3 million into the company, including Shari Redstone’s Advancit Capital, are back as well.

Mitu’s pitch is straightforward: It aggregates videos, aimed primarily at Latinos, from 1,200 partners and attracts an audience that is generating 400 million views a month. Networks like Maker are bigger, but CEO Roy Burstin says his company’s demographic focus is appealing to advertisers. “There’s a whole market out there that’s underserved and underrepresented,” he said.

Burstin is also starting to use Mitu as a place to generate programming that other platforms might want. Mitu personality Chuey Martinez, for instance, is working on a show that could end up on CNN’s HLN channel.

Like everyone else who is attracting eyeballs on YouTube, Mitu wants to build up its presence outside of the world’s biggest video site, including its own Web properties and mobile apps. Some of the new money will go toward those efforts, Burstin said.

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