MENLO PARK, Calif. -- Mayfield Fund today announced it has led a $48.5 million series A financing round in MovieBeam, Inc., a leading movies-on-demand service provider. See today's related announcements at www.moviebeam.com.
"Music has led the way to the lifestyle of electronic media consumption, and movies are poised to follow," said Kevin Fong, Mayfield Managing Director and MovieBeam board member. "After an analysis of opportunities in the electronic distribution segment, we chose to invest in MovieBeam because of its unique ability to earn the trust of content creators while simultaneously providing consumers with a convenient, high-quality movie-rental experience. We are delighted that we were able to put together a financing structure that met the needs of all the investors. With its superior service and the support of a constellation of investors, studios and retailers, we believe MovieBeam will quickly emerge as the de facto choice for watching movies at home."
This financing marks the emergence of MovieBeam, Inc. as an independent company, following its incubation by The Walt Disney Company. The service was first unveiled in 2003 to successful trials. Since then, the company has significantly enhanced its service offering. The MovieBeam movies-on-demand service debuts across the country today, providing consumers in 29 major metropolitan areas with instant access to a changing lineup of new releases and popular favorites from virtually every major Hollywood studio. There are always 100 movies instantly available, with up to 10 new titles automatically delivered digitally each week -- including select movies in high definition (HD) -- via MovieBeam's exclusive, low-cost, over-the-air datacasting technology.
In a separate release:
BURBANK, Calif. -- MovieBeam, Inc. today introduced the new MovieBeam System and launched its movies-on-demand service in 29 major metropolitan areas across the U.S., including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, reaching nearly half of all U.S. households. The MovieBeam movies-on-demand service provides instant access to an ever-changing lineup of new releases and other popular favorites from virtually every major Hollywood studio. There are always 100 movies immediately available, with up to 10 new titles automatically delivered digitally each week -- including select movies in high definition (HD) -- via MovieBeam's exclusive, low-cost over-the-air datacasting technology. The MovieBeam System is composed of: 1) a set-top box that stores, protects and plays movies; 2) a small indoor antenna that receives new movies to automatically refresh the selection; and 3) a simple remote control that facilitates navigation of the intuitive user interface.
MovieBeam, Inc. is a newly formed venture backed by The Walt Disney Company, Cisco Sytems, Intel Corporation (through its leading venture capital arm, Intel Capital), Mayfield Fund, Norwest Venture Partners and VantagePoint Venture Partners (see today's related announcement).
"We have built MovieBeam to directly address what's most important to our target customers: convenience, quality and choice," said Tres Izzard, president and CEO of MovieBeam, Inc. "Our target customers are movie lovers who want a more convenient way to rent the movies they want to watch when they want to watch them and value the overall quality of the experience. MovieBeam provides an attractive alternative to other options -- bringing the sizable selection of the back wall of the video store directly into customers' living rooms. Movies are always available for instant viewing, with no trips to video store, no out-of-stock titles, no damaged discs, no late return fees and no waiting by the mailbox for DVDs."
"MovieBeam, with its easy-to-use service, breakthrough content rights, and low-cost delivery platform, is serving a previously unmet need in the marketplace -- providing consumers with a more convenient, higher-quality movie-rental experience through an unmatched combination of content, technology and relationships," said Gerry Kaufhold, principal analyst, In-Stat. "As a stand-alone company, with a strong investor syndicate, MovieBeam is well-positioned to become an important player in the digital entertainment business by delivering on the promise of on-demand movies."