Late last week, our own Jordan Crook reported that Meerkat, the trendy, Twitter-centric livestreaming app, was in the middle of raising a Series B with Greylock Partners leading the charge.
Sure enough, Greylock has just confirmed the investment.
Greylock isn’t talking about the financial details of the deal, outside of the broad confirmation that they are, in fact, investing, and that Greylock Partner Josh Elman is joining Meerkat’s board. Last we heard, though, it was a $12 million dollar round at a $52 million post-money valuation.
According to our sources at the time, the majority of the round was put in by Greylock — a detail we’ve also now confirmed.
One thing we didn’t know at the time: who put in the rest of the money? Now we do — and it’s a big ol’ mix of people.
Joining Greylock in the round are David Tisch (of TechStars), YouTube founder Chad Hurley, actor/singer/songwriter Jared Leto, Sound Ventures, Vayner/RSE, Comcast Ventures, Sherpa, Slow Ventures, Soma Capital, Universal Music Group, Raine Ventures, Broadway Video Ventures, WME, CAA Ventures, and UTA. Previous investors Aleph and Entree Capital are in this round, as well.
There are some interesting names in there — ones I wouldn’t normally expect to see. Jared Leto? Universal Music Group? WME (the talent agency behind everyone from 2Chainz to Ziggy Marley, Alanis Morissette to Weird Al. Seriously, they represent like half the industry.)? CAA Ventures (the venture arm of the agency that represents the other half of the industry)?
Hollywood is into Meerkat.
Update: Oh, and Broadway Video Ventures! That’s the venture arm of Broadway Video, which makes a little show called Saturday Night Live. It’s Lorne Michaels’ thing.
The idea behind Meerkat, in case you’ve missed all the hubbub: open Meerkat, hit record, and you’re blasting live video to all of your Twitter followers. They can tweet at you to ask questions that’ll pop up on your screen for you to answer on air. That mechanism also helps to spread word of your stream to those who might follow both you and the commenter.
While live video broadcasting from your phone isn’t a new idea (see Qik, justin.tv, and many others throughout the years), its ultra simple design and deep Twitter integration (plus some good timing, with SXSW starting just as Meerkat was taking off) helped Meerkat find itself as something of a viral hit.
It’d be easy to write off Meerkat as something of a fleeting thing, particularly with Meerkat being so Twitter-centric just as Twitter acquires its own video streaming app, Periscope. We called Meerkat “the livestreaming app Twitter should’ve built“, and… then Twitter confirms they bought the as-of-then unlaunched competitor and immediately starts cutting off Meerkat’s access to Twitter’s social graph.
Greylock clearly thinks there’s more to this story, though, with Greylock’s Josh Elman calling it “the foundation of what [he] hopes will become a powerful new network.” and “a new beginning for live video”.