VHX, a direct-to-fan distribution platform for premium video, has announced a $3.2 million Series A financing round led by Union Square Ventures. Participating are existing investors Lerer Ventures, Lowercase Capital, Keith Calder, and Alexis Ohanian (Initialized), as well as new investors William Morris Endeavor, John Maloney (Terrapin Bale), and Gunderson Dittmer. Andy Weissman of Union Square Ventures will join VHX’s board of directors.
Founded in 2011, VHX provides a full stack of publishing tools for creators to sell videos from their own custom-themed websites. The VHX platform is still in private beta, but has been used by artists like Aziz Ansari, Dave Grohl, Shane Carruth, and Ira Glass to sell their work directly to fans. Overall the private alpha platform has launched 60 releases to some 300 happy customers, with $2 million+ in gross revenue. With its new funding, VHX aims to grow the Brooklyn-based team, open up its publishing platform, and launch apps for numerous devices.
“We help creators give audiences what they want: simple purchasing, videos that work everywhere, and the opportunity to support artists directly,” said VHX co-founder Casey Pugh. “Distribution is no longer just about getting your title into other people’s marketplaces,” said co-founder and CEO Jamie Wilkinson. “Anything that used to be sold on DVD can be sold online with VHX. By enabling creators to run their own video stores, we can give them more control, full access to their data, and the opportunity to build more meaningful relationships with their customers. Union Square Ventures brings a huge amount of experience here, and we’re excited to have them on board.”
“The Internet fundamentally alters the model of scarcity that has traditionally defined content distribution,” said Andy Weissman of Union Square Ventures. “However, most of the options available today are outdated – they were designed before social media channels existed, the filmmaker’s role is secondary to the marketplace, and the creator has no direct relationship to the fans and customers of the product. VHX has created a self-serve video distribution platform, in much the same way that Tumblr created a self-serve blogging platform. This platform empowers creators by giving them the tools to control how their content is seen, without any intermediary. We believe in VHX because of the potential to create a distributed, networked content delivery and viewing experience that serves creators and audiences in the modern digital economy.”