SnagFilms, the independent film service founded and chaired by Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis, on Monday officially announced it has raised $7 million in new equity and debt financing. The dollar figures flesh out last week’s news that Terry Semel had joined the company’s board of directors.
All current investors participated, including Leonsis, Steve and Jean Case’s Case Foundation Ventures LLC., the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Comcast Interactive Capital (CIC), along with new investors Semel and David Fialkow, co-founder and managing director of General Catalyst Partners. The debt facility is with Silicon Valley Bank.
The new funding will be used by SnagFilms to extend its library, continue its technology development to provide films across all digital platforms and devices, and to market its films in all channels.
Semel (pictured), who is best known to the entertainment industry as the former chairman and CEO of Yahoo and former co-chairman and co-CEO of Warner Bros., said, “I have spent a long time at the intersection of films and new media. Movie studios don’t have a monopoly on great stories, yet small distribution companies struggle to assemble the footprint necessary to reach a scale audience.”
He added that SnagFilms has the necessary contracts, relationships and capital required to lead its field of companies who see the potential to change that paradigm.
Leonsis: “After a phenomenal year of growth in 2011, SnagFilms is poised for even greater success in 2012. This new investment by all our current investors, along with new funding from two tech and media-savvy newcomers, are true testaments to our strong belief in SnagFilms’ tremendous potential for long term success. Digital delivery isn’t just the wave of the future – it is the driving force now for filmmakers to reach large audiences and spread their passion, and to create new revenue streams that make their next film possible.”
Rick Allen, SnagFilms CEO: “This new capital will enable SnagFilms to stay at the forefront of changing consumer behavior and technological innovation, while expanding the breadth and depth of our content.We are now extremely well positioned for accelerated growth, as we further our mission of bringing outstanding independent films to digital audiences, on demand, wherever and whenever they want to watch great entertainment.”
SnagFilms, which also is affiliated with news site IndieWire, features free, sponsor-supported, on demand viewing on its own site and a digital network of more than 110,000 affiliated sites and webpages worldwide, including partners such as Comcast’s XfinityTV.com, Hulu, the Starbucks Digital Network, IMDb and AOL/Huffington Post. It also offers selected titles via pay video on demand with Comcast and FiOS, as well as on iTunes, Hulu Plus, Amazon, YouTube Movies, and will soon be launching on DirecTV and digital streaming providers Vudu, Samsung Media Hub and Xbox Live.
SnagFilms blog post – http://tinyurl.com/83wh2rj
Photo of Terry Semel courtesy of Yahoo, 2007