This story was written by Rafat Ali.
GodTube, one of the fast growing Christian online video sharing and social networking sites, has received a big $30 million funding round from hedge fund GLG Partners, paidContent.org has learned. The valuation for this round was around $150 million. It has previously raised about $2.5 million from private investors, including Norm Miller of Interstate Batteries.
GodTube was launched in summer last year in Dallas, and has since been among the fastest growing websites online...it now says it has about 2 million users a month. Chris Wyatt, the CEO and co-founder of GodTube, was previously an executive producer at *CBS*. The company has since hired other senior media executives. As for its business model, its Godcaster program is being used few hundred churches, thus generating subscription revenues, and allows them to stream live video of their services online. In the coming months, the company will also launch a white-label social networking service to churches as well. Also, the site sells both religious and secular advertising.
While the $30 million is an ungodly big amount, it compares to the other video sharing sites such as Metacafe, Veoh and others in the post-YouTube era. In all of these cases, bandwidth ends up being a huge cost center.
*GLG* has also invested relatively big amounts in two other digital media companies recently: Glam Media and Spinvox.
*GLG* refused to comment, and GodTube's PR had this non-committal statement: "We have enjoyed substantial growth over the last several months and we are excited about taking out business to the next level, but we do not have any formal announcements to make at this time." For some more background on the site, read this LAT story: "Linking into the market for ministry".
By Rafat Ali