GE Hooks Up With Brightcove

NEW YORK GE’s commercial finance group said it has struck a deal to take a small stake in video syndication platform Brightcove, part of the NBC parent’s endorsement of the move to distribute video widely online.

The GE global media and communications technology team was the lead lender of a $5 million credit facility to Brightcove in exchange for undisclosed equity in the Cambridge, Mass.-based startup firm. The pact is the first of several investments in young companies bridging the gap between technology and media, said Paul Lee, vp of the group in charge of emerging tech media.

“One of the key trends we identified was the breaking down of walls between TV and Internet,” he said.

The decision to link up with Brightcove was made based, in part, on feedback from GE media entities, including NBC. Brightcove does not currently work with NBC, although it does with sister cable network Bravo. The network gave a tacit endorsement of Brightcove’s model in the launch of NBBC, a distributed video service that will disseminate NBC and other content widely across the Web. Brightcove has a platform that allows professional content creators to post video on their sites or a network of destinations. It works with Reuters, The New York Times Co. and several smaller content producers.

It has buttressed its roster of typical venture capitalists with strategic investors AOL, IAC and now GE.

“They’re really on the forefront of the migration of content on just TV to other [media],” Lee said. “This really helps push the validation of that trend.”