Santa Monica video startup raises funding

LogoDeca is an online professional-video startup based in Santa Monica, Calif. that bills itself as “the first hybrid production and commercial model specifically for mainstream digital entertainment.” The company just announced it has raised $5 million in a series A round. Investors were Atomico Investments (last.fm, technorati), General Catalyst Partners, and Mayfield Fund. The site, which hasn’t launched yet, aims to provide video content on par with what comes out of Hollywood. Quite a lofty goal. The company’s services are three-tiered: Deca aims to finance, develop and distribute video. However, their actual website won’t showcase any of the content; all of the distribution is being handled by outside partners.
Deca was founded in 2007 by Michael Wayne and Chris Kimbell, both of whom have combined past experience at Sony Pictures, ABC, and Yahoo! Music. Wayne said the following:

Digital entertainment is not simply about posting something to YouTube; digital entertainment needs to be compelling, high quality, social and interactive. DECA brings the online and entertainment worlds together in a studio model that understands how new entertainment formats need to be created, funded, marketed, and distributed.

While this could seem like just another addition to the crowded online video space, the experience that the founders bring with them could prove to separate Deca from the pack. While online video appears to be saturated, people are still trying to figure out the right model to deliver “professional” content. Will big broadcast networks like NBC dominate the web market with sites like Hulu, or will startups have a shot? Big broadcasters definitely have first-mover advantage with their production studios constantly generating quality content, but that model may eventually be uprooted by companies like Deca.

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