Confirmed: Orange acquires 49% of DailyMotion for €59 million, rest to follow

Rumors have been flying around for the last week about a possible acquisition of DailyMotion, the French-born equivalent of YouTube. And the first half of the 2-part transaction has just been confirmed; Orange will acquire roughly 49% of the company for approximately €59 million (€58.8 million) with the rest to follow shortly.

Advent Venture Partners, an investor in DailyMotion since 2007, said that investors were actually not seeking to sell the company, which has apprently been profitable since the latter half of 2010. However, the company did seem to be burning cash prior to that point; over $68.5 million had been raised with some of Europe’s top tier VCs in 3 different rounds of funding.

DailyMotion was the longtime reigning video platform of choice in France (even after the Google-YouTube acquisition) and has 90 million users of which 80% are situated outside of France (namely in the US, India and Turkey). The acquisition is most likely going to allow Orange to further develop video on various mobile devices  and also integrating it with additional content sharing platforms.

DailyMotion’s story usually tends to evoke a lot of mixed reactions. Some feel it’s a success while others a failure. Interestingly enough, DailyMotion and YouTube were founded within weeks of each other in 2005. However, the San Bruno-based company was swallowed up by Google the following year for $1.65 billion while DailyMotion trodded along. Still, the platform managed to continue growing despite the threat of Google’s YouTube and is currently the 2nd ranked video platform worldwide.

For now, half the company has been acquired – we’ll keep you posted as Orange reveals info concerning the second stage of the transaction in the upcoming months.