Online video network Joyus is gearing up to scale in a big way.
The four-year-old company said today that it raised $24 million in Series C funding.
The round was led by Marker LLC and Steamboat Ventures. Existing investors Accel Partners, Interwest and Time Warner Investments also participated. To date, Joyus has raised $44 million, including a Series B round of $11.5 million in 2013 and nearly $8 million in 2011.
Founder and chief executive officer Sukhinder Singh Cassidy said the company’s videos — which fall under the categories of beauty, fashion, health and fitness or lifestyle — have included more than 500 brands, from Superga to indie beauty brand Eve Lom.
Cassidy said although the core concept of Joyus remains the same — it’s a video network online that monetizes through shopping — working with publishers has become a significant part of the business. Joyus produces videos that highlight certain products, simultaneously offering a path to purchase without leaving the page.
Since 2012, the network has partnered with People, AOL, Redbook, Real Simple and more to syndicate Joyus’ content to these publishers’ readers. To date, 75 percent of Joyus’ views come from its publisher network (where content lives simultaneously on publisher sites and on joyus.com). The ceo said this has accelerated the company’s growth, but declined to release sales figures.
However, she did note that while revenues per view totaled 70 cents to 80 cents a few years ago, this jumped to $1 last year.
“Every thousand views is a thousand dollars, and if you think about that [cost] for online video, this is a multiple of what you will make if you put [up] a pre-roll ad,” Cassidy said. Unlike other video platforms, such as YouTube, which offers an ad before a video plays, the videos on Joyus are about the product.
“That fundamentally changes the monetization model for online video. Using commerce to monetize video is a viable way to create revenue,” Cassidy said, pointing out that mobile is a powerful driver of sales and traffic. To date, close to 40 percent of all of Joyus’ sales come from a mobile device and up to 50 percent of e-mails are opened on a mobile phone.
Joyus generates revenue from brand partnerships and sales, and this extends to partners when that video is published on one of their sites. If a product is sold on a video that lives on People’s Web site, both Joyus and People get a cut of that sale.
In the fall she said a second stream of revenue will roll out: shoppable native ads.
“They want shoppable video and scale and to know they can reach 10 million viewers, and they are willing to pay to do it,” Cassidy said of opening up their video capabilities to marketers seeking a native shoppable video unit.
The company will also push out even more shows in the fall and “double down” on content, ramping up the “how-to” videos and introducing a makeover show.