Chad Hurley And Steve Chen's AVOS Closes Its Series A Funding

By Greg Kumparak , written on April 27, 2012

From The News Desk

Hey, wake up! It may be 3 a.m. where most of our readership lives, but that doesn't mean the news cycle stops. AVOS, the one-year-old company led by YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, has just announced that they've closed their Series A round.

The news comes out of The Next Web conference in Amsterdam, where Hurley made the announcement in an on-stage chat with my old colleague (and good buddy) Robin Wauters.

The round is led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Google Ventures, with participation from Madrone Capital and Kai-Fu Lee's Chinese incubator Innovation Works. (And for today's bit of 3 a.m trivia: Steve Chen was actually one of the first investors in Innovation Works, which is now in turn helping to fund AVOS)

Alas, Chad and Steve are keeping mum on the exact terms of the deal, saying it's really more about the non-monetary resources that their new investors bring to the table than it is about a need for money.

"We've been funding this more or less by ourselves for the last 18 months," Steve Chen tells me. "Its not so much about the funding as it is that in starting from scratch again there are a lot of challenges. From building out the infrastructural stacks to hiring in both the Bay Area and China, we wanted to be able to have access to the advanced resources and experience that these investors bring that we don't have ourselves."

NEA's Alex Kinnier will join Hurley and Chen on AVOS' board, along with ex-YouTube/Facebook CFO Gideon Yu whenever he's not too busy being the president of the San Francisco 49ers.

Now, as for what the heck AVOS is actually doing…

You might recall that AVOS saved Delicious from Yahoo's flailing hands back in April of 2011 — one year to the day, in fact, before this Series A announcement. Since then, they've also acquired the social network monitoring tool tap11, launched Delicious' almost identical Chinese twin, and most recently began to tinker with a digital magazine creation/discovery service they call Zeen.

At a deeper level, Steve and Chad seem to view AVOS as a lab of sorts. They're building a number of projects "quickly and nimbly" to discover which "building blocks" they find themselves reaching for most often, so that they can standardize these common components across all of their social-centric projects and avoid constantly reinventing the wheel in the future.

Whatever that leads to in the long run, I'm just happy that they saved Delicious.