Videogram, the Japan-US company that helps publishers and creators get more out of online video content, has closed a bridge round of funding ahead of planned Series B later this year.
The company renamed from Cinemacraft last year (its product is called Videogram) and its last funding action came in February 2015 when it closed a $3.9 million Series A. This bridge round is undisclosed, but TechCrunch understands from a source close to the deal that is approximately $600,000.
The funding is led by ABC Dream Ventures, the venture capital arm of Japanese media giant Asahi Broadcasting, with participation from existing investor 500 Startups. NTT DoCoMo Ventures, Samsung Ventures, Turner Broadcasting’s Media Camp, and Tyra Bank’s Fierce Capital are among three-year-old Videogram’s other backers.
As part of the deal, Asahi will deploy Videogram’s technology, which includes dynamic embeds and other video display services, across its consumer-facing media properties in Japan.
Videogram founder and CEO Sandeep Casi told TechCrunch that the new money will be spent going after new multi-channel network partners in Asia — principally Japan, India and Vietnam — and the U.S. ahead of the planned Series B round.
The last time we checked in on Videogram, it had launched a number of tools to give broadcasters and brands new ways to boost engagement on their video clips, beyond just relying on repositories like YouTube. Those included slick GIFs that are auto-generated from video clips and a customizable video player that can help divert traffic generated by videos to other pages without ceding all of the power to YouTube’s algorithm. The latter can be whitelabeled, and Videogram’s customers include Japan’s Bitstar, an agency managing over 300 YouTube personalities.
Beyond that, Videogram has two new updates — auto-embeds for websites that require one line of code, and channel embeds for YouTube broadcasters. (The latter is used by Tyra Banks, among others.)
Finally, the Videogram app for iOS was relaunched late last year with a range of features for YouTube broadcasters, including easy animated GIFs creation and specific frame-based editing tools. The app, and Videogram’s partner deals, are also powering the company’s own content platform, which features hundreds of channels including Tyra Banks’ beauty tips, Will It Blend!, Michelle Phan and our own TechCrunch TV.