Preferred Ventures,the digital media investment firm ran by former Facebook mandarin Chris Kelly and FreeCreditReport.com’s Ed Ojdana, have bought a major stake in start-up digital distributor GoDigital.
The influx of capital will enable Logan Mulvey’s online film-viewing platform to grow its profile with further acquisitions while developing their audience engagement strategies.
The new chairman of GoDigital’s board and FreeCreditReport.com Founder and former Experian Interactive CEO Ed Ojdana said: “We want to bring in some assets on the marketing side and make a difference on how independent films are monetized.”
Former Facebook chief privacy officer and founder of Kelly Investments Chris Kelly intends to incorporate a Facebook-style customer preference and viewing system that would recommend films, pointing customers to all of the platforms where they can download or view a given film, turning the site into a “one-stop shop” for independent movies.
GoDigital has a library of more than 1,000 independent, documentary, and foreign movies, which it makes available to viewers through deals with Lionsgate, iTunes, Netflix, Amazon, and others.
Initially launched as a music distribution service, then switching to its current model in 2008, GoDigital has been bootstrapped until now. However, founder and CEO Logan Mulvey says the company reached a point where it needed more money to grow — hence the current funding.
Their recent releases include the documentary Unraveled and 2012 SXSW entry King Kelly.
Kelly and Ojdana are not film novices. Both are executive producers on the recent documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi — along with Kevin Iwashina, who represented Preferred Ventures in this deal. Kelly tested out GoDigital by using it to distribute The Power Of Two, another documentary that he produced, before investing in the company.
Mulvey will remain CEO while Ojdana becomes chairman of the board. Mulvey and Kelly will sit on the reconfigured board. The parties declined to say exactly how much of the company Ojdana and Kelly have bought.
“The financial and intellectual resources provided by Preferred Ventures will fuel our growth as digital distribution continues to evolve,” Mulvey said. “There could be no better moment to secure this influx of capital. Ed and Chris have proven themselves as successful entrepreneurs and I am eager to build a top tier company with their guidance and expertise.”
“Chris and I have been impressed with Logan’s vision of where digital distribution is headed”, Ojdana said. “GoDigital has established itself as a respected industry player and we look forward to taking it to the next level.”
Kevin Iwashina, managing partner of Preferred Content, represented Preferred Ventures and brokered the deal.