JW Player gets $20M funding boost to expand its online video platform

JW Player, which built a niche for itself providing an online video platform targeted to enterprises, capped off a year of growth by completing a $20 million Series D funding round led by existing investors including Greycroft Growth, Greenspring Associates, Cueball Capital, and e.ventures.

The company plans to use the new capital to expand what it calls its independent video ecosystem, which allows businesses of different sizes to build an online video service over which they have much more control in terms of branding, analytics and other aspects.

Originally called LongTail Video, JW Player was founded in 2008 and offered an open-source video player directly to businesses. It has signed a number of prominent customers including Nerdist, PopSugar, Rifftrax, Baeble Music and others. The company has expanded its focus in recent years to include not just enterprises but any "independent publisher" including individuals, as well as more in-depth analytics offerings that allow providers to better tailor their offerings for specific audiences.

"Across the video landscape, the focus is shifting from 'closed garden' video platforms to an independent ecosystem that provides publishers with greater control over their owned and operated properties," said Chris Mahl, president of JW Player. "Independent publishers demand the ability to grow audiences, deepen viewer engagement, own the viewer experience, and ultimately, to have more control over their video revenue."

JW Player's latest round of fundraising brings its total funding to $45.6 million -- it raised $20 million in its Series C round in 2014, $4 million in its 2012 Series B round, and started with a $1.6 million angel investment.

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