Friday, February 12, 2010

VEOH-ver -- The Original YouTube Folds Up Its Tent

Veoh -- the pioneering Internet video destination site (which later morphed into other incarnations) -- is done. Veoh is over (although its website and services are still live for now). Founder and CEO writes about this in his own words -- click here -- and blames the company's battles with Universal Music Group as the primary culprit for its demise.

Veoh actually had its roots back in the fall of 2004 -- under the name "TV Drive" -- and, to my knowledge, was the original YouTube. In other words, Dmitry's vision pre-dated YouTube -- and Dmitry pitched his YouTube-ian vision well before YouTube was a glint in anyone's eye. I know this, because I was there.

But, VCs didn't bite on the TV Drive pitch first -- YouTube got funding first (perhaps as a direct result of our pitches to Sequoia itself which then proceeded to invest in YouTube rather than in TV Drive). And, the rest is history.

It's a sad day for Veoh. Great vision. Great innovation. Undoubtedly, lots of talent. And, lots of cash -- $70 million was invested in the company.

Gone now. My thoughts go out to Dmitry and everyone involved in this fellow digital media company in San Diego.

And, my thoughts to those that hear Dmitry's next vision and pitch -- invest immediately. The guy is a visionary. But timing is everything ...