SnagFilms has secured $6 million in new financing, the company announced.
The low budget film and documentary distributor and the owner of independent film blog IndieWIRE was launched in 2008 by former National Geographic Films chief Rick Allen and former AOL executives Steve Case and Ted Leonsis, with the goal of using social networking to attract audiences for films that are often edgier and less commercial than most major studio projects.
"There’s a tremendous amount of great content produced each year," Allen, who serves as SnagFilms' chief executive officer, told TheWrap. "This explosion of content has been facilitated by more sophisticated cameras and post-production capabilities, which are giving more and more filmmakers the ability to tell their stories on film. What we want to do is give them the capacity to reach a wider audience and find ways to make money."
SnagFilms said all its investors — a group that includes Revolution Ventures, the John
S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Comcast Ventures, and former Yahoo! chief Terry Semel — participated in the financing round. In addition, the company attracted a new shareholder, CNF Investments, an affiliate of the investment firm Clark Enterprises.
The company said it will use the money to improve on its new app, fund additional theatrical releases and support marketing efforts. It will also be used to enhance its film library. It hopes to offer as many as 5,000 films on its site by mid-2013, a 1,000-film increase from its current catalog.
"We feel like we have developed an incredible distribution footprint," Allen said. "We've become a leading platform and technology company and a leading content company, plus with IndieWIRE we are also an important source of news and information about the film world."
The company announced it had raised $10 million in funding in 2011 and attracted an additional $7 million in debt and equity last year. Allen said the privately held company has been profitable in the past, but its backers have chosen to invest in its growth at present.
"We will once again be at a profitable level by the end of the year," he said.