Starz, making a new push into the Internet-streaming world, has taken a stake in Fandor, a subscription-streaming service for independent and foreign films, as part of a new $7 million round of funding.
Fandor chairman and principal investor Chris Kelly, who was Facebook’s first general counsel, said the company is in the midst of raising a larger B round of funding expected to be completed in the next few months.
In addition to Starz, DNS Capital, which represents the business interests of Michael Pucker and Gigi Pritzker, and investment bank LionTree Capital Partners also participated in the round.
“At a moment in time when Starz is aggressively extending its brands — geographically and technologically — we are excited to invest in Fandor,” Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said. “It is a premium content company offering the world’s largest selection of independent film titles with a state-of-the-art technology platform.”
In September, Fandor hired Larry Aidem, former head of Sundance Channel, as president and CEO. He took over the role after Ted Hope departed earlier this year to lead Amazon Studios’ original films division.
“Today, everyone in the (technology, media and telecommunications) industry is evaluating the impact of disruption and globalization, and their own strengths and vulnerabilities at home and abroad,” LionTree founder and CEO Aryeh Bourkoff said in statement. “Chris and Larry’s years of experience in both digital and traditional media are a distinct advantage.”
San Francisco-based Fandor offers more than 7,000 films in the U.S. and Canada, and claims it offers a 50% revenue share to rights holders. Subscription plans start at $7.50 per month.
The company continues to build on licensing deals with film distributors, aggregators and 200-plus independent filmmakers. In 2016, the company plans to begin distributing the Fandor service internationally via partners.