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Whipclip Raises $40 Million in Bid to Dominate Legal Video Clipping

The Los Angeles-based company has about 25 content partners.

Whipclip, the service that allows consumers to clip television and music videos and distribute them, said it had raised $40 million in a new round led by Eminence Capital.

Existing investors Institutional Venture Partners and Raine Ventures also participated; sources said the financing could include some follow-on funding from strategic content partners.

Whipclip, which has 50 employees in Los Angeles and Tel Aviv, has garnered about 25 publishers to gain access to post legal video clips. Using the service, it allows both the content companies and consumers the ability to post video clips from shows like Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” and ABC’s “The Bachelorette.”

Founded by former Demand Media CEO and co-founder Richard Rosenblatt, Whipclip has a panoply of Hollywood backers including Ari Emanuel, Peter Guber and Scooter Braun. It had previously raised $20 million at a $100 million valuation. The new one is presumably larger.

As I noted late last year when the Whipclip beta was released, it is an interesting arena to play in:

Still, in large part, networks create only a small number of legal clips every day, leaving them vulnerable to people using not-so-kosher means of creating them.

Although initially not a consumer play, Whipclip’s main focus now is recruiting these content owners to provide their TV shows for WhipClip’s consumer application in return offering video streaming, editing, distribution and analytics tools. Once shared — via Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr, email and SMS — the clips direct traffic back to the content providers’ sites.

Of course, the success or failure of services like Whipclip depends on how much popular content it can convince media companies to share.

Rosenblatt started the company with Ori Birnbaum, who had co-founded RayV, the video streaming platform startup that Yahoo bought earlier this year. There, Birnbaum was developing clipping technology to serve media companies, which Whipclip now owns despite the sale to Yahoo.

Others, such as SnappyTV, also offer media companies clipping tools, but Rosenblatt has the biggest insider group of Hollywood bigs. He has also seen both ups and downs in the digital space. (after all, besides Demand, which got pummeled by algorithm changes by Google, he was the one who sold Myspace to News Corp. at a giant premium.)

Still, ever the entrepreneur — and now a really well-funded one.

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