DRAMAFEVER RAISES $4.5 MILLION IN SERIES B ROUND TO FUND GLOBAL EXPANSION
YouTube co-founder Steve Chen, Google executive Benjamin Ling back fast-growing online video player, along with Stubhub and Spreecast founder Jeff Fluhr and others in a round led by MK Capital
NEW YORK, NY (March 16, 2012) -- DramaFever, an online video platform for the world’s best entertainment available on the web, has closed $4.5 million in Series B funding to finance growth. Venture capital firm MK Capital led the round with participation from YouTube co-founder Steve Chen and Google product management director Benjamin Ling. Other DramaFever investors include Stubhub founder Jeff Fluhr, GraphEffect president Stephano Kim, Wikets CEO Andy Park, and Capital IQ co-founders Randy Winn and Steve Turner.
Co-founder Seung Bak says the funding will be used in areas targeted for expansion. Key priorities for growth include recruiting top talent in engineering, product marketing, and video operations, and new content acquisition from throughout Asia, India and Latin America. DramaFever sees significant opportunities to attract millions of new users from adding Latin American telenovelas, Bollywood movies, and expanding the service to potential new viewers in Latin America, Europe, Middle East, and Australia.
“Asian and foreign content continues to gain dedicated fans among U.S. and Canadian audiences who turn to platforms like DramaFever as a window to another world,” says Bak. “Our numbers are solid. Getting backing from MK Capital, whose standout investments in digital media include Machinima and Movieclips, and from Steve Chen, a creator of the world’s largest online video platform - plus our other investors with deep online media experience - show that our model works. DramaFever is a proven business model with the room and resources to grow rapidly.”
“DramaFever has found the way to create highly-engaging, sticky viewer experiences for its audience and new cross-border revenue streams for international media partners,” says Mark Terbeek, partner at MK Capital. “Given how consistently and rapidly the company has grown despite the economic downturn, we’re excited to help the company expand its model and footprint, especially as more viewers are turning on their computers, tablets, mobile phones, and connected TVs to discover new and better sources for entertainment.”
DramaFever reports traffic has tripled since January 2011 and is doubling every six to eight months. The company currently serves 1.5 million unique advertising-supported monthly visitors and 15,000 paying subscribers, who watch on average over three hours of video each month. Because the company is already breaking even and the fact that over 75% DramaFever users are of non-Asian descent, Bak feels strongly that the world’s best entertainment companies will continue to seek out DramaFever as a distribution partner. Content creators will be looking for ways to offset rising production and distribution costs and for opportunities to generate additional revenue from new audiences abroad, thus DramaFever’s expertise will prove very attractive for those seeking strategic partners.
To date, Bak and co-founder Suk Park have secured rights to distribute over 400 titles and 10,000 hours of programming from 60 media companies from seven countries outside North America. Monetizing every stream, online users watch ad-sponsored videos with in-stream ads on DramaFever.com for free or can purchase premium subscriptions at $10 per month, $99 per year or $269 for a three-year subscription. DramaFever premium users enjoy unlimited access to ad-free viewing, plus mobile and Web TV applications.
DramaFever, an online video platform for the world’s best entertainment available on the web, is based in New York City. Currently, DramaFever strikes deals with networks and production companies from around the world to bring online audiences the most popular, mainstream entertainment, including TV shows, movies, and music, in high-quality and fully-translated into English by native-language speaking professionals. DramaFever has over 1.5 million unique US and Canadian users and 15,000 premium users, who spend over three hours a month watching videos on the site. Over 75% of DramaFever users watching Asian entertainment are of non-Asian descent. Partners include Hulu and over 60 content partners from the most popular networks and producers in seven countries. DramaFever’s ever-expanding library of hit television and music shows, teleseyres, short and full-length feature films is one of the most comprehensive and current collections of legal Asian content available to US consumers. Co-founders Seung Bak, formerly head of marketing at Capital IQ and Suk Park, former international Managing Director at Ziff Davis launched DramaFever in August 2009. In May 2010, DramaFever signed a deal with Hulu.com, which created a dedicated Hulu-DramaFever showpage. In early 2011, DramaFever quietly closed $1.5 million in seed funding from angel investors. To learn more, visit www.DramaFever.com
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