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Netcaster AtomFilms to get $20 mil boost

Salmi plans o'seas expansion

Netcaster AtomFilms is expected to announce today that it has secured $20 million in a second round of financing, with the largest stake coming from Chase Capital Entertainment Partners LLC and Chase Capital Partners.

Trans Cosmos USA Inc., Arts Alliance and WaterView Partners’ Frank J. Biondi Jr. round out the investment group.

Warner Bros. Online, which has poured money into the site — AtomFilms is a program provider for Entertaindom.com — did not participate in this round.

AtomFilms founder and CEO Mika Salmi said the round would be used to develop and expand AtomFilms’ marketing and distribution efforts and other related businesses.

The investment provides a shot in the arm for the Netcaster to extend the brand and try to position itself even more away from rivals such as IFilm.

“This round of financing is significant to our efforts in expanding internationally and into new arenas we haven’t been before,” Salmi said.

It is dabbling with inking distribution deals with retail outlets, mall developers and handheld PC devices.

“AtomFilms recognized early on the value and the impact that short films and animations would have on today’s online and offline consumer audiences,” said Bob Egan, partner at Chase Capital Entertainment Partners. “We’re thrilled to lead this round of financing and believe that AtomFilms has what it takes to maintain its leadership position as they continue to distribute their shorts across the broadest channels available.”

The Netcaster, which focuses on broadcasting short animated and live-action films online, also distributes the pics through licensing deals with airlines, cable channels and Web ventures including Snap.com, At Home and RealNetworks.

AtomFilms, launched in March, completed a first round of financing of $5 million in May, led by Arts Alliance and joined by Warner Bros. Online, officers and employees of Allen & Co, and Biondi.

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