Viewics Sees Series B on Horizon

With a $3.5 million Series A in the bank, Viewics Corp., a developer of real-time special effects software for PC video production, is already previewing a second round of institutional financing.

The deal closed on the eve of a product launch that will introduce consumers to a software package that Viewics co-founder and President Michael Steffano called a television studio on a hard disk.

Houston-based Murphree Venture Partners was the sole investor in the round. Dennis Murphree, managing partner with the seed and early-stage venture firm, took a seat on the company’s board.

Proceeds will primarily be used to support the product launch and create additional distribution. Some of the capital will also go towards an internal infrastructure build-out that has already begun with the recent naming of a new vice president of business development.

Moreover, the company has also begun shopping a Series B deal. Although Steffano would not disclose the size of the deal, he said it would close within the next three or four months.

According to IDC forecasts, 2.2 million desktop video cameras will be sold by year-end, and the market is expected to grow to 16 million sold in 2003. The cameras themselves are an inexpensive proposal: a desktop video camera is currently priced between $20 and $140. Already, nearly 90% of the cameras are sold to consumers. Any additional consumer spending in desktop video is likely to come in the form of value-added products like Viewics’, Murphree said.

A Series B round will respond to that demand. It will be directed toward a major consumer marketing and advertising initiative, as well as the launch of an upgraded software package next year. Thus, the financing is likely to come from corporate alliances in addition to traditional venture firms.