Digital entertainment company Deca has invested in Smosh, taking an undisclosed stake in the teen-centric online video brand. The Santa Monica-based content development, marketing and sales studio will handle everything, including ad sales, business development and distribution for Smosh. Deca co-founder and CEO Michael Wayne told me that Smosh was already "profitable" from advertising; it currently runs *Google* AdSense-powered search and display ads.
Wayne said that the economy hasn't dampened Deca's short- or long-term investment plans: "This is not the time to put our head in the sand, so we're going to continue to add properties to the Deca family both long term and in the near future. ... We're making adjustments, just like everyone is at this point, but what's most important is to make changes that put us into a position to flourish moving forward." Deca itself is venture-backed, having raised $5 million in an initial round from Mayfield Fund, General Capitalist Partners and Atomica Partners in 2007.
The company's previous investments include Boing Boing TV, a joint venture with tech blog Boing Boing, and Project Lore, the World of Warcraft-focused show and Web site founded by Diggnation vet Alex Albrecht. Smosh is the first teen-oriented property in the roster. Launched in late 2005, it has aggregated a rabid fan baseboth on its homepage and a branded YouTube channelwith some clips garnering upwards of 25,000 user comments each.
By Tameka Kee