By Jay A. Fernandez | Indiewire June 12, 2012 at 8:30PM
Online video platform DramaFever has finalized a $6 million round of funding, including investments from AMC Networks, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments and NALA Investments. With a focus on delivering popular East Asian TV and film content to English-speaking audiences in the West, DramaFever plans to use the new capital to expand into Latin American and Bollywood entertainment as well as Asian music videos.
Co-founder Seung Bak also hopes eventually to increase DramaFever’s more indie film-flavored offerings. “We are big fans of independent filmmakers and are keen on creating a new distribution channel for them,” said Bak. “Although indie films aren't our primary focus today, we have started distributing a couple of dozen titles,” including the indie “The Romantic Movement: Seoul” and the music documentary “Turn It Up to 11,” both local Korean projects.
New York City-based DramaFever currently claims two million unique monthly visitors, with 75% of viewers being native English-speakers of non-Asian descent. Bak contends that this data represents an opportunity to provide indie film fans with the kind of foreign content that appeals to them.
“Films will become a bigger part of our service, and by year end we'll have a substantial library of theatrical feature films from Asia as well as a host of independently produced documentaries and films,” says Bak, who notes that DramaFever ran an online film festival last fall called Digifest in collaboration with the San Diego Asian Film Festival.
Co-founder and CEO of Machinima Allen DeBevoise and LowerMyBills.com founder and CEO Matt Coffin also joined the newest round of financing. The new funding follows a $4.5 million Series B investment that the start-up, launched in August 2009, received in March. Former Fox Television Entertainment Group chairman Sandy Grushow is also joining DramaFever as a strategic advisor.