YouTube is becoming an increasingly important platform for the next generation of video entertainment. As the site has grown, a number of new multichannel networks, like Machinima and Maker Studios, have grown with it. But to date, while it provides massive reach and huge audiences for video content, YouTube hasn’t provided great tools for engaging with those audiences. Los Angeles-based startup Epoxy seeks to solve that problem, with a suite of tools for growing YouTube audiences and interacting with them.
Epoxy is the brainchild of Juan Bruce and Jason Ahmad. Bruce was formerly the president of digital at Team Downey — that is, Robert Downey, Jr.’s vehicle for production and investment in digital media startups. Epoxy was born out of a need that Bruce saw while their to help companies producing digital media for YouTube to manage and expand their audiences. So Bruce teamed up with Ahmad, whom he knew from Stanford, as well as former Adobe and Mixpanel engineer Peter Skirko and designer Brendan Wypich.
The four have since built a set of tools designed to help YouTubers optimize their publishing schedule, while also growing their audience and increasing engagement on their video networks. At a time when some of YouTube’s big multichannel networks are complaining about disappointing monetization on the site, Epoxy also hopes to help boost the amount that creators can make from their videos on YouTube.
With that in mind, the young company has raised money from some of the very people who know the YouTube business best — those who have built or invested in those very networks. Its funding was led by GRP Partners, which has also made an investments in Maker Studios, as well as Greycroft Partners, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, and Advancit Capital, all of whom have invested in or are eying investments in YouTube networks of their own.
Other investors include Machinima founder and CEO Allen DeBevoise, Maker chairman Ynon Kreiz, Shine Group VP of Digital Yoel Flohr, and Stradella Road CEO Gordon Paddison. Along with the funding, GRP Partners’ Mark Suster has joined Epoxy’s board of directors.
The startup plans to use the funding to hire more engineers and advance its toolset. Still in private beta, Epoxy hopes to make its platform available to more creators and networks over the coming months. In the meantime, it’s now got a little bit of money to invest in its technology and improve what it’s already built with the help of its beta partners.