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Cable Technology Feature Article

January 19, 2011

SnagFims Receives $10 Million from Investors

By Madhubanti Rudra, TMCnet Contributor

SnagFilms, which brought the shared movie viewing experience to the Web through a library of 2,000 non-fiction films, recently announced the amassing of $10 million in growth capital from new and existing investors. The new investors include New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Comcast Interactive Capital (CIC). Existing investors, include Ted Leonsis (News - Alert), SnagFilms' founder, and Steve Case, AOL co-founder, and Revolution LLC chairman, Steve Case.

According to a press release, SnagFilms is going to use the funds for expanding its distribution of independent films - including, for the first time, fictional independent releases -- across all digital platforms and devices, and on a global basis.

A part of this capital will be used to expand its indieWIRE unit, the company informed. Now in its 15th year, indieWIRE is the leading Web source of news, reviews and analysis of independent film.

Last year, SnagFilms launched video on demand channels on Comcast and Verizon FiOS (News - Alert), as well as titles for sale through the Apple's iTunes store.

Earlier this month, SnagFilms debuted its iPad application with the largest collection of award-winning U.S. films offered free to iPad users.

“As a profitable company with substantial private investors, SnagFilms didn't need to raise outside capital. However, we saw overwhelming strategic value in involving NEA, a pioneer and leading venture capital firm, and CIC, the investment arm of Comcast (News - Alert). SnagFilms is very well-financed and uniquely positioned now to bring the full array of independent films -- fiction and non-fiction, U.S. and foreign -- to global audiences on all platforms and devices. We've amassed a library of 2,000 documentaries since our launch, and we're now building distribution opportunities for tens of thousands of independent films in both categories. That's great news for film fans and for filmmakers,” founder Ted Leonsis explained in a statement.

NEA officials are convinced that SnagFilms will be playing a lead role in providing the consumers with quality contents through new devices and digital platforms.

Comcast’s managing director, David Horowitz, maintained that the recent investment reflects the company’s responsiveness to growing consumer demands for cross-platform, high-quality content. The company hopes that the funding will allow SnagFilms to create new opportunities for the independent film makers.

SnagFilms also announced that industry veteran Bingham Ray will join the company to help guide its entry into distribution of fictional narrative and foreign-produced independent films.

Earlier this month, SnagFilms released its free app for the iPad, offering for the first time 50 of its most popular documentaries, many of them festival award winners, to the mobile audience. The SnagFilms iPad app, according to the company, will allow audiences to view the most compelling collection of free full-length nonfiction films available on any mobile device, and is a milestone in the distribution of independent films.

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Madhubanti Rudra is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf