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Deal Radar 2008: PermissionTV

Posted on Tuesday, Nov 25th 2008

Today’s Deal Radar focuses on PermissionTV (PTV), a provider of white-label video platforms. The company announced a strategic reseller and integration partnership with Move Networks, a leading provider of Internet television services, last week. Under the deal, the two companies will be reselling an integrated online video platform to create and deploy interactive, HD-quality video applications. The deal is aimed at broadening the distribution channel for both Move Networks and PTV and helping the companies become market leaders.

If market forecasts are to be believed, such a leadership position would be quite fruitful. According to ABI Research, the market for broadband video service providers is expected to rise from $237 million in 2006 to $1.87 billion in the next four years. Forrester Research views streaming video advertising as the fastest-growing segment of the interactive ad market and predicts it will hit $7.2 billion in 2012. According to In-Stat, worldwide online video revenue is expected rise from $1.2 billion in 2008 to $4.5 billion by 2012. The Kelsey Group’s US Local Video Forecast expects that local online video ad revenues will increase from $10.9 million in 2007 to $1.5 billion by the end of 2012, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 167.8%.

Founded in 2004, PTV is focused on what it calls Video 2.0. While Video 1.0 was focused on simple distribution on the Web, the Video 2.0 era is more dynamic, interactive and customer-driven. Like other Internet video companies, PTV is trying to bring high-quality interactivity to Web video by allowing companies to design, manage, measure and refine video interactions. But whether Video 2.0 will be popular is a question that has rankled Matt Kaplan, VP, Solutions and Chief Strategy Officer and was addressed in his blog post.

The company’s SaaS-based platform allows deep integration with existing online video tools and technologies. PTV has also designed its tools to allow non-programmers to create their own video channels. However, PTV’s platform is not limited to pre-set templates or forms, and clients can integrate other solutions into the PTV system, such as advertising networks or content management systems. For viewers, PTV aims to make its products consumer-focused with interactive features such as polls, playlists, RSS feeds, blogging, tagging and e-mail-to-a-friend.

The PTV platform is offered as a tiered pricing model that includes a monthly usage fee and a set-up fee. Monthly fees range from a minimum of $2,500 to a maximum of $10,000 and include the PTV video platform license, video management and reporting tools, web service APIs and video delivery and application hosting. The company did not share revenue information.

PTV is targeting Fortune 1000 Companies through direct or agencies, and also media and entertainment companies and publishers. The company has been successful in closing deals with major brands including Adobe, Activision, the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO), Cygnus Publishing, Harvard Business Publishing, Intercontinental Hotels, Moxie, Mullen and WhittmanHart. It plans to continue to penetrate the top corporate and consumer brands, as well as media and entertainment organizations in the United States, and is also looking to expand internationally.

PTV has raised about $18 million so far, including a venture debt it raised in April 2008: a $1.7 million Series A from Common Angels, CramerOnline, Inflection Point Investors, the Massachusetts Technology Development Corp., SAS Investors and the Venture Capital Fund of New England; a $4.4 million Series B from the same group of investors; a $9 million Series C from Castile Ventures and Point Judith Capital, Common Angels, CramerOnline, Inflection Point Investors, the Massachusetts Technology Development Corp., SAS Investors and the Venture Capital Fund of New England and $3 million round of venture debt from BlueCrest Capital Finance. Though the company is not looking to raise more money at the moment, it may need more financing at the end of 2009.

In July 2008, the company appointed James (Jim) Alla as Senior Vice President of Sales and Business Development. A media and software industry veteran with experience in strategic sales and business development for Web-based technologies and customer engagement platforms, Alla will oversee the development and management of PermissionTV’s sales strategy and operations. With this new addition, the company thinks its management team is complete.

Recommended Readings:
*Deal Radar 2008: FeedRoom
*Deal Radar 2008: Fliqz
*Top 7 Internet TV Startups

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

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