SnagFilms snags new financing

Michelle Clancy ©RapidTVNews | 31-01-2012

Indie film specialist SnagFilms has closed $7 million in a new financing round to accelerate the growth the company achieved in 2011.

The new funding will be used to extend a library of independent films that now numbers more than 3,000 titles and includes fictional films in addition to documentaries; continue its technology development to provide films across all digital platforms and devices; and market its films in all channels.
Of particular interest to the company is leveraging digital distribution, and it will soon be available via VUDU, Samsung Media Hub and XBOX Live. SnagFilms is already available on over 100 devices, including 95% of all tablets (among them, iPad and Kindle Fire), all Android smartphones, OTT devices and connected TVs. It also makes content available via the Website and a digital network of affiliated sites and blogs, along with digital pay-on-demand platforms iTunes, Hulu, Amazon, YouTube Movies.
Traditional TV partners are a focus too; it has partnerships with Comcast and FiOS video on demand and , and will soon launch on DIRECTV.
"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," said Ted Leonsis, SnagFilms' founder and chairman.
All current investors participated, including SnagFilms founder and chairman Ted 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 two new investors: veteran media and internet executive Terry Semel (who also joins the company's board) and David Fialkow, co-founder and managing director of General Catalyst Partners. In addition to new equity, the company has arranged its first debt facility with Silicon Valley Bank.
"I have spent a long time at the intersection of films and new media," said Terry Semel, former co-CEO and co-Chair of Warner Bros., and CEO and Chairman of Yahoo. "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. SnagFilms has that base -- the necessary contracts and relationships to distribute thousands of great stories, with the capital required to lead its field."