Streaming Distributor Filmhub Floats $6.8 Million Seed Round

Filmhub, the independent distribution website incubated by German composer Klaus Badelt and Brazilian tech entrepreneur Alan d’Escragnolle, has raised $6.8 million led by Andreessen Horowitz in the company’s first capital raise. Filmhub helps budding cineastes get their work onto more than 100 streaming platforms, including Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, IMDb TV, Plex, Roku Channel and others. Using its own sales team and technology, Filmhub pushes out content from shorts to episodics to full-length films, taking a 20 percent fee from royalties, which vary by service.

D’Escragnolle isn’t sharing revenue figures, but TechCrunch reports he indicated “revenue has increased by 3x year-over-year, and it has grown from distributing thousands of titles to now 10,000 titles.”

Deadline explains there is no upfront fee for filmmakers. D’Escragnolle — who held positions at Square, Intuit and Tandem Capital before teaming with Badelt in 2020 — says because creators retain ownership of their content, Filmhub offers a path to greater financial participation than the typical studio deal.

“We believe that there’s an opportunity to restore power to the creator and the original filmmaker and allow them to build a library of their own,” d’Escragnolle said in TechCrunch.

Although “seed round” is not a phrase that would normally attach to a company that’s been in business six years, Filmhub’s decision to announce the funding that way in a blog post taps into the startup vibe associated with the term, a not inappropriate move for what must indeed be a scrappy firm to have survived in tech since 2016 without venture capital.

Filmhub appears to occupy a unique niche in the film space, though similar models are used in music (TuneCore and Kobalt’s AWAL) and podcasts (Spotify’s Whooshkaa). Indie Rights offers the same basic fee structure, but targets the broader ecosystem, from limited theatrical release to festivals and streaming.

Filmhub has recently teamed with streaming service Struum to showcase the work of filmmakers that have participated in the Slamdance Film Festival. “Struum will carry each Slamdance title exclusively for three months, and filmmakers will receive 100 percent of their earnings on Filmhub and Struum for the first year, as a part of the deal,” TechCrunch reports.

In addition to new material, Filmhub is distributing “evergreen” material from the 50s, 60s and 70s, which may not make it onto cable or broadcast, but can find new life on streaming platforms.

“Unless you’re an established filmmaker, it can be very difficult to have your work discovered,” Andreessen Horowitz general partner Andrew Chen said on Filmhub’s blog, characterizing that as “a missed opportunity for both streaming services and consumers alike, especially given the potential we’re seeing for more diverse and international content.”