Plex, a 12-year-old streaming provider with a unique combination of third-party access and management tools for users’ media assets, has raised $50 million in growth equity.
The funds come from one of its existing backers, Intercap.
As part of the round, Intercap chairman and CEO Jason Chapnik has joined the board of directors as chairman and Intercap president James Merkur has also gotten a board seat.
The financing includes about $15 million in new capital for Plex, with the remainder used to buy shares and options from employees and shareholders. The company said it hopes the injection of capital will enable it to move closer to being a “one-stop shop” for streaming media.
“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,” Chapnik said. “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.”
Chapnik is chairman and majority shareholder of Docebo, a Canada-based employee-training software provider that is among Intercap’s investments. After the company had a successful IPO in the U.S. Chapnik’s stake was valued at $1.1 billion, though shares have recently sold off from their highs at the end of 2020.
Founded in 2009 with backing from Intercap and Kleiner Perkins, Plex enables its 25 million registered users in 193 countries to stream film and TV titles both live and on-demand. It has 20,000 titles and 150 live-streaming channels. It also handles users’ audio collections drawn from 60,000 music tracks and thousands of podcasts as well as photos and virtual-reality content, a range that sets it apart from pure video streamers.
Since the company launched AVOD in 2019 and free live TV in 2020, the company has done more than 240 entertainment content deals. Its partners have included Lionsgate, Warner Bros Domestic Television Distribution, MGM, Sony Pictures Television, Sinclair Broadcast Group, AMC, A+E Networks, Crackle and the BBC.
“Everybody knows it’s a pain to sift through all the streaming services to find what you want to watch, and our goal at Plex is to manage your media life for you,” Plex CEO Keith Valory said. “Our job is to understand where everything is, whether it’s from our free library of movies and shows, a subscription service, live on TV, or something you can purchase, and for Plex to be the trusted go-to service to help you find what you want, when you want it.”
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