Tubi Announces $20M in Funding
Largest Free Ad-Supported Streaming Network Secures Infusion of Capital to Fuel Growth and Expand Premium Ad Offering.
Tubi — the leading free streaming TV and movie network— announced today a $20M round of funding led by Jump Capital. Existing investor Foundation Capital, who led their Series A, is also joining this round of funding. Investors Danhua Capital and Cota Capital are also participating. The funding will accelerate growth and expansion of Tubi, including its OTT premium ad inventory, with which the company expects to claim market leader status.
Advertising demand for premium video providers such as Tubi continues to grow. Since 2014, overall online video ad sales have increased nearly 20% annually over the past three years, with the online video ad market projected to experience double digit growth by 2020. More than 37 million U.S. households watched ad-supported shows on connected TVs in 2016, according to Modi Media. According to Nielsen, 75% of the highly desirable target audience — which is Tubi’s core audience — report that ads don’t bother them as long as the content is free.
With content partners that include Lionsgate, MGM, Paramount Pictures and Starz, Tubi counts more than 50,000 titles in its constantly growing library and offers advertisers access to an audience that’s different than online video or traditional TV advertising.
“We have made it our mission to build the best destination for free movies and TV shows. Consumer response has been overwhelmingly positive, and today Tubi is the top ranked free entertainment app on most mobile and OTT platforms,” said Farhad Massoudi, Founder and CEO of Tubi. “This funding round will allow us to further expand our reach and deliver our measurable video ad inventory for advertisers.”
Leading a revolution in how viewers consume entertainment, Tubi was launched in 2014 and today is the largest and fastest growing free TV/movie network, with an audience larger than HBO Now and CBS All Access, combined. Ranked as the number one free streaming app for both Android and iOS devices, the company’s audience grew by an eye-popping 9X growth rate in monthly active users (MAUs) in 2016. Tubi attributes much of this success to its ability to combine deep data mining and its proprietary TV analytics platform with the robust content offering from its studio partners. This unique blend of product and technology allows Tubi to stay ahead of the curve in meeting consumer demand.
“Looking at this space, it became clear to us that there is a massive group of consumers migrating their viewing to mobile and OTT, but finding themselves underserved by the live TV bundles and the universe of competing paid services they find there,” said Yelena Shkolnik of Jump Capital. “The incredible organic growth, engagement metrics, and wealth of content partners made it clear that Tubi is rising as a leader consumers are adopting to fill that gap.”
"With TV ratings on a downward spiral and online video quality in question, the segment of everyday Americans who are cutting the cord and turning to Tubi is growing daily,” said Joanne Chen, partner at Foundation Capital. “For consumers and advertisers, Tubi is the portal of choice for movies and shows.”
Shkolnik and Chen were both recently appointed to Tubi, Inc’s Board of Directors.
In November 2015, Cota Capital led the company’s Series B round, with additional investors including MGM, Lionsgate and a group of Hollywood investors. As part of the round, strategic investors also licensed hundreds of titles from their respective catalogues to Tubi. Today, Tubi’s streaming library features Oscar-winning films and Emmy-winning TV shows that span more than 40 genre categories from comedy, drama, family & kids, classics and horror, to niche segments such as Korean dramas, anime, and British TV.