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ViKi Secures $20 Million in Series B Financing From Strategic Partners SK Planet, BBC Worldwide and Existing Investors Greylock Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Others
Oct 20, 2011 (08:10 PM EDT)
Popular Video Entertainment Start-Up Also Secures Content From BBC Worldwide, NBC Universal and A+E Networks International
SINGAPORE, Oct. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- ViKi, the international video site with more than 10 million viewers and active community of translators, today announced that it has closed a Series B round of financing from strategic investors SK Planet, a subsidiary of SK Telecom, and BBC Worldwide, as well as from existing investors Greylock Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Charles River Ventures and Neoteny Labs, among others.
"We're very excited to have SK Planet and BBC Worldwide join our team of investors," said Razmig Hovaghimian, ViKi CEO and co-founder. "In less than a year since our public launch, our viewership has grown exponentially, with shows translated into more than 150 languages. This investment will enable us to continue this rapid growth and expand our service onto multiple platforms."
The additional financing will be used for next phase product development, key hires and to secure additional content partnerships around the world. Greg Park, EVP of SK Planet, will be joining ViKi's board as one of two outside directors, including Joichi Ito, general partner of Neoteny Labs, Chairman of Creative Commons and recently appointed director of the MIT Media Lab.
"The ViKi team is poised to make premium video content accessible to hundreds of millions of people on scale, and as a strategic investor and partner, we are eager to collaborate with ViKi to grow a global go-to platform for entertainment," said Greg Park. "ViKi is a win-win for viewers and content owners that want to reach new fans globally."
BBC Worldwide has also licensed more than 30 of its popular prime-time TV series to ViKi. The commercial arrangement sees titles – including Gavin & Stacey, Mistresses, Coupling, Hotel Babylon, Fawlty Towers and Oliver Twist – made available and accessible to new audiences in Southeast Asia through ViKi's community of translators.
"We're delighted to be breaking new ground in the digital space by being the first British broadcaster to partner with ViKi," said Daniel Heaf, EVP of Digital at BBC Worldwide. "ViKi's innovative platform enables new audiences to access our premium programming. It has long been our objective to better digitally distribute more BBC and British programming to new audiences, and ViKi will help us achieve this."
The company also signed licensing agreements with NBC Universal, as well as the A+E Networks International, operator and distributor of A&E Network, HISTORY and BIO, for various regions around the world. The new content will be available on the site in the coming months.
With ViKi, content partners increase the global availability of localized, international video content. With its fan-generated translations, ViKi removes the barrier of language standing in the way of content reaching new audiences, making it possible for entire television series or movies to be accurately subtitled in dozens of languages overnight.
Other recent global media partners with content already public on ViKi include TVB in Hong Kong, SBS in South Korea, Fuji TV in Japan and Amedia in Russia.
ViKi is a leading international video site with TV series, movies and other premium content, translated into over 150 languages by a community of avid fans. ViKi's mission is to bring down language barriers and enable cross-cultural collaboration and understanding. With over 1 billion videos viewed and 150 million words translated, ViKi uniquely brings global prime-time entertainment to new audiences. ViKi's syndicates its shows with fan-generated subtitles to partners such as Hulu and Netflix. Publicly launched in Dec 2010, ViKi is backed by global venture firms, including Greylock Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Charles River Ventures, Neoteny Labs, as well as strategic investors SK Planet and BBC Worldwide. The company was recognized as Best International Start Up at the 2010 TechCrunch Crunchie Awards in San Francisco. For more information or to start watching the world, please visit www.viki.com.
About SK Planet
SK Planet, a wholly owned subsidiary of SK Telecom, was established in October 2011 with an aspiration to become a global platform innovator. As the lynchpin of SK Telecom's future growth, the company was spun off with industry-leading platform businesses, including T-Store, T-map, MelOn, and Cyworld, Korea's biggest mobile application store, mobile navigation, online music service and SNS. The company is also a pioneer in new media, with products such as Hoppin, Korea's first multi-screen premium video service, and continues to build momentum in its online commerce leadership with 11th Street. SK Planet aspires to develop a wide scope of global partnerships such as TMK, a media joint venture with Disney. Through collaborations with partners, SK Planet is committed to building global platform businesses in Asia and other strategic markets. For more information, please visit www.skplanet.co.kr.