Vidyard raises $1.65M to get enterprise videos online

Startup Vidyard has raised $1.65 million in an effort to grow its platform for enterprise video distribution. The funding comes from investors like Softech VC, YouTube (s goog) Co-Founder Jawed Karim, YCombinator, SV Angel, Andreessen Horowitz, iNovia Capital, Gmail creator and FriendFeed founder Paul Buchheit, NV Investments’ Vivi Nevo, former RIM (s RIMM) COO Dennis Kavelman, David Nikzad and others.
Vidyard, which has been called “a YouTube for business,” has created a platform for enterprise clients that is designed to make it easier to manage, measure and monetize videos that they’ve distributed. It’s not dissimilar from existing online video platforms like Brightcove or Ooyala, and has a lot of the same features — including real-time analytics and customizable video players — but it also has a few key differentiators.
For companies that already have videos hosted on YouTube, Vidyard can hook into their accounts and import videos, or serve them up with custom thumbnails and a customizable player. The platform also has the ability to add specific calls to action within the video, useful for marketers looking to boost sales within the player. And its platform has tools that allow content creators to review videos before they’re published and provide approval for distribution. That kind of feature is useful in creative agencies who send videos to clients for review.
The main difference between Vidyard and other companies in the space might be its pricing: The startup’s monthly plans start as low as $34 a month, although introductory plans are limited in the number of videos that can be served up.
The low pricing underscores a commoditization of the enterprise video market that forced consolidation and shutdown of a number of online video distribution platforms founded and funded three to five years ago. Despite that shakeout, Vidyard joins a number of new entrants into the space, which includes Vidcaster and a Pro offering introduced by Vimeo (s IACI) earlier this year.
Vidyard was part of the Summer 2011 class at YCombinator, and since its launch in August, has been ramping up personnel hiring and working on bringing in new clients. The startup has nine full-time employees, most of whom are focused on engineering, though Co-Founder Michael Litt told us in a phone interview that the company is also adding to its sales and business development team.