Vzaar, an online video platform aimed at SMEs that want to publish video, has been plugging away since 2007, but seemed to go in an odd direction – aiming at eBay sellers who wanted to sex-up their auctions. Needless to say it was the low end of the market and eBay auctioneers tend not want to spend money on a dedicated video platform outside of free ones like YouTube. But after bringing in new management, new CEO Stephen McCluskey, formerly with PA consulting group, has pivoted the company towards a more upstream market and gone out looking for new funding.
Through various twists and turns on that funding road it’s now found further funding – terms undisclosed – through a slightly left-field source, namely Hollywood director Oliver Stone, famous for movies on The Doors, JFK and Wall Street. He’s invested alongside existing investor Sophrosyne Ventures LLP.
The investment came about through Stone’s longstanding relationship with John Moreton, one of vzaar’s major investors.
Normally that’s where the story peters out, but Stone has gone one further than most investors – filming an actual commercial for the company when he was in London attending the premiere of ‘Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps’
Apparently, Stone’s rational was that even though there is a rivarly between online video and cinema, he is interested in the issues around wider content distribution.
Vzaar natural competitors are now Kyte, Kaltura, Viddler, LongTailVideo and new arrival 23 Video, but, I’m told Vzaar’s sales are up in their new $50 up to $1500 offering. It now has 1,200 customers worldwide.
Just don’t mention “greed is good” or even “I liked it so much, I bought the company”.