UK streaming service We Are Colony has raised $2m in seed funding.
The VOD market has become increasingly crowded with services as well as content, making it more important than ever for companies to differentiate their offering. We Are Colony has come up with a solution to tackle both: bonus features.
The start-up, based in London, launched earlier this year with an emphasis on the kind of supplementary content you would expect to find on a DVD or Blu-ray. In the digital age, such behind-the-scenes access is harder to come by: Apple has fought hard to promote its iTunes Extras, with studios often releasing cast and crew commentaries as exclusives for iOS users, but pay-per-view platforms, such as blinkbox and Google Play, have struggled to incorporate special features into their streaming infrastructure.
The site has also specialised in independent titles, from features to shorts, with a focus upon projects starring big names.
“We get really quality feature films with a whole host of behind the scenes, making of additional content. That content ranges from: deleted scenes, production diaries, making of, blooper reels, extended scenes; all the way through to things like scripts, story boards, stills. It’s really deep,” founder and CEO Sarah Tierney tells Business Insider.
Tierney launched the company in 2013, before releasing its browser-based platform to the public earlier this year. The site currently boasts over 20 titles, some of them exclusive, others with exclusive bonus content. A third of its business comes from the UK, but customers have signed up in over 100 countries. A fifth of those have purchased a film, while one in three have bought more than one.
The funding round raised $2 million for the firm, including additional commitments from its original angel investors and new contributions from New York-based investment firm Archer Gray, Firestartr and and Essex Innovation.
“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,” Tierney tells THR.
“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,” comments 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.”
As well as expanding its library of content, the company will also announce several new partnerships in the coming months, as well as expanding its team.