Brightcove Builds War Chest

NEW YORK Brightcove raised an eye-opening $59.5 million in additional financing as it tries to establish a leadership role in the crowded online video sector.

The Series C round, led by AllianceBernstein, Brookside Capital and Maverick Capital, is earmarked for aggressive expansion plans in 2007, the company said. The funding comes on top of a $16.7 million Series B funding in November 2005.

“If the Google-YouTube deal was any indication, 2007 is clearly going to be a major year for online video, and also a year of consolidation as many of the hundreds of online video startups seek a place in the new ecosystem,” CEO Jeremy Allaire wrote on the company’s blog. “We also expect 2007 to be a year where established media companies make more bets, and continue to partner with leaders they can trust and who are well aligned with their desire to maintain choice and control over how their video is used online, while also empowering consumers.”

Brightcove has linked up with several major content owners to power distribution of their video on their own sites and on its syndication network. Its partners include AOL, Discovery and MTV. Last October, it recast Brightcove.com as an Internet video aggregation site, an additional distribution channel.

In addition to the lead investors, previous backers Allen & Co., AOL, General Catalyst Partners and IAC participated. The New York Times Co. and Japanese fund Transcosmos Investments also joined. The latter will help Brightcove expand into Japan, the company said.

Brightcove has several competitors, often in different facets of its model. As a destination, it battles YouTube and other video sites for consumer viewership, while its technology platform will vie for attention from media owners like Joost, a video company begun by the founders of Kazaa and Skype. Its syndication network competes with ROO and Broadband Enterprises, while its ad network is in competition with Tremor and AOL’s Lightningcast.