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London-based online movie streaming service We Are Colony, which offers films with DVD-type extras such as behind-the-scenes footage and scripts, has raised $2 million in seed funding.
The company, whose service is in its public beta, has drawn users from more than 100 countries but hasn’t disclosed the number of users. Unlike Netflix, it is not subscription-based. Instead, users pay for each title. It focuses on independent films, currently offering such titles as short film Little Favour, an action thriller with Benedict Cumberbatch, for about $3.25.
In the funding round, the company got additional financial commitments from its original angel investors and new investments from Archer Gray, a New York media production, finance, and venture investment firm; Firestartr, a fund backing “globally ambitious entrepreneurs with game-changing Internet and software businesses”; and Essex Innovation.
Said We Are Colony founder and CEO Sarah Tierney: “This additional capital empowers We Are Colony to translate the progress we’ve made in the past year into the foundational elements of a global video destination for engaged audiences who prize early and exclusive access to titles and talent that they love.”
“In We Are Colony we saw a platform that could be a vibrant home for both original films and the kind of exclusive behind-the-scenes content that fans and film lovers value,” said Amy Nauiokas, CEO and founder of Archer Gray. “We are thrilled to be supporting Sarah and her team as they continue to build a completely new kind of video-on-demand platform.”
We Are Colony will use the new financing to grow its library of films with a focus on “talent-driven and strong genre titles, with a number of strategic partnerships and output deals to be announced in the coming months.” It added: “The company will also expand the team to further deliver on the narrow-targeting marketing and audience engagement expertise evidenced by the early successes of the beta.”
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