San Francisco-based video service Tubi TV has raised a new $20 million round of funding in a round led by Jump Capital, with participation of Danhua Capital, Cota Capital and Foundation Capital. The company wants to use the new cash infusion to grow both its staff and its user base, Tubi TV CEO Fahrad Massoudi told Variety Tuesday.
This will include Tubi’s first major marketing efforts. “No spray and pray marketing,” said Massoudi. The goal was instead to target the service’s user base, which he described as “middle class America” — budget-conscious consumers who have cut the cord and don’t want to pay expensive subscription fees for streaming content.
Tubi TV launched three years ago with a focus on free, ad-supported movies and TV shows. Initially, that catalog was dominated by B-movie fare, but the company has since struck licensing agreements with MGM and Lionsgate to stream some of their catalog titles for free to its users. Currently, Tubi TV’s catalog includes titles like “Gladiator,” “The Silence of the Lambs” and “School of Rock.”
Massoudi didn’t share any absolute user numbers, but said that Tubi TV’s number of monthly active users has grown ninefold over the past year. Absent of any hard data, app store rankings do suggest that the company is finding an audience for its service: Earlier this year, app intelligence vendor App Annie told Variety that Tubi TV was handily surpassing streaming services like NBCUniversal’s Seeso, Chernin Group’s Crunchyroll and Warner Bros.’ DramaFever in app downloads in 2016.
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To prepare for further growth, Tubi TV also wants to scale up its team of 50, Massoudi said. Part of these efforts will be the opening of a new office in Los Angeles. The company is currently headquartered in San Francisco, and maintains satellite offices in New York and Beijing.