» How Omidyar Network and Wellington Partners invested $6 million in Seesmic

How Omidyar Network and Wellington Partners invested $6 million in Seesmic

I am answering questions in video in this post using our new video player, you can reply and get a Seesmic account right there if you like. Hit play, you will see the reply button at the top right.

I had shared how we raised $6 million for our initial funding and also wanted to share with some thoughts about how Pierre Omidyar’s Omidyar Network and Eric Archambeau of Wellington Partners joined Seesmic, it is an interesting demonstration of how social software can be useful I think.

Since the launch of Seesmic and the very first video in September 2007, I have published a daily video where I shared pretty much everything I was doing and I do not really keep track of the views as I also posted tons of videos on Seesmic but only the Youtube channel and blip got a total of about one million views.

Communication and conversation is really new and to be honest, I often feel it is even more strange than what we felt when we started all blogging a few years ago. Feels strange for the author, strange for the people who view and answer, because it is so new.

It brings a new touch to conversations, very human, very personal. Pierre watched one of my videos and then we exchanged if I remember well first on Facebook, before exchanging many videos on Seesmic. What I remember really well is this tweet where Pierre complained I did not offer him to invest in Seesmic.

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We finally met at TED and spent hours together talking about how Seesmic could have an impact on changing the way people communicate.

I have known Eric Archambeau of Wellington Partners for years and he is one of the top venture capitalist in Europe. I have been helping Eric and the Wellington team for a long time identifying interesting european startups, way before I launched Seesmic. For example I introduced my good friend Nicolas Mendiharat of Ski Horizon to Wellington and they invested shortly after in this online leader of the ski industry. I do not invest anymore as a business angel, totally focused on Seesmic, so I am referring the cool startups I see to them and other VC friends like Atomico.

Eric and Pierre bring a huge experience to the Seesmic vision and it already shows. There were many videos of Pierre giving us ideas for features to build and another interesting tweet:

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We listen to our investors a lot and the threaded standalone player/recorder you can see at the top of this post with the entire conversation is the result of Pierre’s suggestion and other conversations we had with the community.

The entire Seesmic team feels honored and thrilled to be able to get advise from all these amazing individuals who have chosen to help us and invest in Seesmic.

We were not raising funds as we had just closed the A round and that is probably the best way to raise money, when you do not need it! It is more about Pierre and Eric joining us than their investment per say, which we are very happy to have of course.

Here is how we will use the additional funding
-make sure Seesmic.com and the platform are rock solid and in the long term
-build on our platform strategy already supported by 1500 sites and blogs using video comments
-integrating the video conversation in more social software everyday
-accelerating the new features delivery that the community has been asking for (thousands of suggestions… thanks again!)
-creating our mobile platform which we have not been able to focus on enough yet
-localizing faster in other languages

Monetizing Seesmic won’t occur in the next 12 months, we are focusing on the community and the platform. I believe video adsense like advertising will be huge and TV advertising dollars will finally shift online, but it will take 3 to 5 years, this is why we need funding to be there when it grows.