By Sahil Patel
VHX, a NY-based video startup that helps creators, studios, and other content owners sell their work, also wants to be a destination for viewers to find movies, shows, and other video content that people want to watch. Recently, the company launched its first mobile app and introduced a feature that saves all of a user’s downloads in one place.
Now, the company is raising $5 million to build on those efforts. The new round is led by Comcast Ventures, with existing investors Union Square Ventures, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian also contributing. In a filing, VHX reported that it’s raised $4.25 million toward its goal, with $750,000 still to go.
In 2013, Union Square led a $3.2 million Series A round in VHX, which also counts Hollywood agency William Morris Endeavor as an investor. Back then, VHX’s goal was to build its service and promote its usage to creators who want to sell content directly to their fans.
Since then, it’s indeed been used by YouTube stars, mainstream celebrities, and independent studios to digitally release feature films and other premium video content. And naturally that’s helped the service grow. For instance, across 2014, VHX says it saw the average number of daily video views on its service increase by 50%, and more than tripled its number of sellers when compared to the previous year.
This has allowed VHX to compete with the likes of iTunes, Google Play, and Vimeo On Demand. (Kernel, which was used by Sony Pictures Entertainment to directly sell “The Interview,” also hopes to play in this field.)
The next step for VHX’s evolution as it looks to compete even more with these companies? Being on more platforms — especially those that people buy and rent movies and other premium video content on, like Roku and other connected-TV platforms.
“Anyone should be able to sell videos online, directly to fans, with the kind of premium-quality, cross-platform experience that consumers have come to expect,” VHX co-founder Jamie Wilkinson tells VideoInk. “We’re excited about this new collaboration with Comcast and the opportunity to continue building a place video sellers and watchers love to call home.”