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YouTube Software Developer Zefr Raises $30 Million Round Led by IVP

Zefr, a startup that provides YouTube content-management tools for media firms and marketers, announced $30 million in a new financing, led by Institutional Venture Partners (IVP).

IVP, founded in 1980, has invested in 300-plus companies over the years, including Twitter, Netflix, Snapchat and TiVo. Zefr's latest round included participation from existing investors U.S. Venture Partners, Shasta Ventures, First Round Capital and Richmond Park Partners. In conjunction with the financing, IVP general partner Dennis Phelps has joined Zefr's board.

The funding brings Zefr to about $53 million raised to date. Zach James, one of the company's co-founders, said Zefr will use the funding to drive software development -- to expand on YouTube as well as other platforms -- and grow its sales and marketing teams. Zefr's other investors are MK Capital, SoftTech VC and Aydin Senkut of Felicis Ventures.

Zefr's platform lets enterprise customers manage content published to YouTube, including tracking down and either monetizing or removing fan-uploaded content.

Zefr media clients include Universal Pictures, Paramount, Warner Bros., Lionsgate, MGM, The Weinstein Co., NBCUniversal's Bravo, Broadway Video's Saturday Night Live, Hasbro Studios, Sony Music, Warner Music Group and soccer club Real Madrid. Marketing customers include Adidas and ad agencies Wieden+Kennedy and Starcom.

Zach James and his partner, Rich Raddon, "are world-class entrepreneurs who saw a massive opportunity in thinking about the YouTube platform for large brands and content owners," said IVP's Phelps in a statement.

Privately held Zefr does not disclose financials. But Zefr's principals claim it has doubled annual revenue in each of the last three years. The firm was founded in 2009, initially launching as the MovieClips channel on YouTube.

Zefr, based in Venice, Calif., has about 200 employees, of which about 50 are engineers.

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