Plex has completed a growth equity round of $50 million from existing investor Intercap and it will use the funds to fuel further growth for its ad-supported streaming service.
The financing includes approximately $15 million in new capital for Plex and the remainder of the funds will be used to purchase shares and options from employees and shareholders. Plex CEO Keith Valory said his company will continue to increase investment in product and design but the majority of the funds will be used to build out the commercial side of the business – marketing, monetization and content.
“As the ad-supported business has matured, we are able to spend marketing dollars more efficiently to drive growth,” he said in an email.
Plex has been cash-flow positive since the Kleiner investment in its Series B, which raised $10 million in 2014. Valory said, given his company’s strong financial position, the newest financing allows Plex to provide liquidity for early shareholders.
“Most of our institutional investors, including Kleiner, have maintained their full share positions, but some of our seed investors and shareholders who came in through acquisition were able to get a greater than 10x return on their investments. In addition, while our executive team and founders are all committed to the future of Plex, we were able to provide employees some liquidity as well,” he said.
As part of new funding round, Intercap chairman and CEO Jason Chapnik has joined the board of directors as chairman, and Intercap President James Merkur has also joined the board of directors.
“Content providers, creators, and consumers are all paying the price for the explosion of so many streaming media services and the industry needs a trusted way for the experience to be as enjoyable as possible,” said Chapnik in a statement. “Plex has always been at the forefront of solving new media challenges and we believe they are primed to solve this problem - they are the cable company of the future.”
Plex was founded in 2009 and now has more than 25 million registered users worldwide with users in 193 countries. It functions as a multi-media platform and offers free, on-demand movies and TV shows along with more than 150 linear streaming channels. It partners with publishing studios and networks including Lionsgate, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, MGM, Sony Pictures Television, Sinclair Broadcast Group, AMC, A+E, Crackle and BBC.