October 16, 2007
A few years back I made a seed investment, along with the Mayfield Fund, in a little outfit at the time known as the Dima Group. This was before YouTube, before the networks starting putting shows online, in short before online video happened.
Our very simple investment hypothesis at the time was that the “television” advertising business was going to be radically changed by technology, and more specifically by the emergence of viewer-controlled video that technology was going to enable. Whether it be the fast forward button on a remote, or transition of video to user controlled IP platforms, we imagined a day not too far off when users controlled what video they watched when, where, and on what device. And, in this world, ads would have to be dynamic and targetted to ever be viewed.
The question, in our view, was not IF this happened, but WHEN. And, when it did happen, the folks riding the wave of the new advertising models were going to be in a great spot.
So, together with our friends from Mayfield (and, in fact, thanks to an introduction from them to the opportunity), we made a small seed investment with the 2 Dima founders — who were thought leaders in the area — to take a bit of capital to go figure out when and how we could build a company to go after this opportunity.
Since then, YouTube happened, the networks moved online, DVR and VOD have become virtually ubiquitous, a development and then management team was formed, a product built, a few key strategic partnerships formed, and finally, at long last, a company now called BlackArrow has launched. (I guess I failed to mention that a few fairly substantial mistakes were also made along the way).
Yesterday, BlackArrow announced themselves to the world. Led by CEO Dean Denhart, BlackArrow has brought in strategic investment from Comcast, Cisco and Intel, recruited industry veteran Larry Kramer to their board, and now is officially open for business.
For good sample coverage of their launch check out NewTeeVee.
Stay tuned for some more exciting news from Dean and the BlackArrow team…