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April 20, 2015

Vessel raises more money to compete with YouTube

Institutional Venture Partners brings in $57m.

By CBR Staff Writer

Online video platform Vessel has raised $57.5m in a new round of funding led by Institutional Venture Partners.

The previous investors include Benchmark Capital, Greylock Partners and Bezos Expeditions, the personal investment firm of Jeff Bezos.

Vessel, which has to date raised $134.5m, is expected to use the new funding to secure video rights, and hire marketing and engineering staff.

Vessel CEO and co-founder Jason Kilar said in a blog post: "Our content team is working hard to bring you early access to even more of your favorites (like ‘Ellen’) and to respond to the thousands of creators who have applied to offer their videos on Vessel.

"Our engineering team is working hard too, to bring people more of the features they’ve asked us for and to make Vessel available in more of the places people want it (starting with an Android app that will launch soon)."

The Wall Street Journal reported that Vessel is offering a 70% cut of advertising revenue to attract video makers. The company plans to give a 60% share of subscription revenue to creators that offer exclusive videos.

In response to Vessel’s challenge, YouTube has decided to pay huge bonuses to some of its creators to retain them.

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In a letter this month, YouTube told video makers that it is planning its own subscription service.

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