VR Platform Blend Media Receives Financial Backing


LONDON: A host of investors, among them Maker Studios co-founder Ben Donovan, are backing the new VR platform Blend Media.

Blend Media is a 360-degree video and VR content and creator platform founded by Damian Collier, founder of the viral video management consultancy Viral Spiral. Collier is joined in this new venture by co-founder and COO Chris Helm, a rights management expert and former finance director of Sony Music and EMI Music Publishing.

Along with Donovan, the former president of Maker, Blend Media’s investors include David Beck, the COO of Bell Pottinger; Mark Browning, the managing director of ITN Productions; Paul Cooper, partner at Clarity; Alex ‘Solly’ Solomou, co-founder and CEO of The LADBible Group; and Chris Waters, the commercial director of BBH.

The focus of Blend Media is to provide a complete immersive-content solution for brands, agencies and publishers. The company has already supplied content for a number of commercial clients, including the Orange VR 360 app.

Collier commented: “Until now there has been no organized marketplace for brands, agencies, studios and publishers who are looking to produce new, or license existing, premium quality 360-degree video or virtual reality content, or seeking creators who are skilled in the complex production and post-production techniques. We’re launching Blend Media at a time when immersive content has moved into the mainstream following its implementation by the key social networks. With a deeply experienced group of investors on board, a cutting-edge tech platform and the world’s largest network of immersive content creators signed up we’re set for an exciting 2017.”

Solomou added: “With considerable appetite for VR and 360 content from advertisers and consumers, it’s exciting to see a new market emerge. Damian’s track record in developing digital media businesses with a focus on content licensing makes this an ideal opportunity. We’re all looking forward to working closely with Damian and the team, and will make further investments in innovative companies like this.”

Donovan said: “Damian was one of the first people in the world to commercially license viral video content, which is why we were excited to partner with him early on at Maker Studios. Through Blend, he’s now solving a real problem in the video marketing and digital publishing industries, as they stand today. Brands and publishers want to take advantage of the benefits that 360 video and other immersive content offers, including deeper engagement and retention rates, but until now they have had nowhere to go, to ensure a premium result. I am thrilled to be backing Blend Media alongside some real industry heavyweights.”