Wildseed Studios has closed a third round of funding that will support the launch of 2 YouTube channels and the commissioning pipeline to those verticals for a year.
New investors include Jon Miller who served as chairman of AOL from ’02 to ’06 and has executive digital experience at companies like Myspace, 21st Century Fox and News Corporation. Animation producer Fred Seibert, who is president of the fast-growing MCN Frederator Networks, is also a new investor. Welsh broadcaster S4C is also returning to support U.K.-based Wildseed through its media fund, and a fourth investor in this round is not being revealed.
Money raised is being used to launch a new series on Wildseed Comedy every month for a year, with episodes uploaded weekly to support audience growth and development. Staff Room, a 5-part sitcom set in a secondary school, will be the first to debut in November.
To date, the studio that’s behind sci-fi horror film Hungerford has raised “in excess of 7 figures,” but the most recent amount is not revealed. Wildseed’s creative director Jesse Cleverly says the latest financing will enable the company to evolve from an IP incubator to a media company.
“This money has allowed us to grow the final limb, if you’d like, which is the distribution limb, which is the channel brands,” he said of Wildseed Comedy and Wildseed Sci-Fi. The latter will showcase Wildseed’s sci-fi horror and fantasy ‘microbuster’ movies throughout next year, including Hungerford II: Ground Zero, Hubert’s Ghost and Killing Modern Day Witches by Johnny Kevorkian that was commissioned as a result of a pitch though Wildseed’s talent outreach program.
In the short term, the sci-fi channel will act as a place where Wildseed posts behind-the-scenes videos, shorts and sneak peeks, but the films will be sold through other distribution channels like iTunes, Cleverly explains. That said, next year will be all about building the digital startup’s brand and audience, not necessarily the revenue.
“Our next year is all about establishing Wildseed Comedy as a premium on-demand destination for new and original comedy to come out of the U.K.,” he says. “Therefore really our focus is building the eyeballs…and at that point you can have all sorts of conversations about licensing formats, about selling content and about brand partnerships,” he adds about monetizing the work.