VOD Site Voddler Gets Another $3.5 Million In Funding

Swedish film streaming site Voddler, still in beta, has picked up a further 26 million Swedish kronor (£2.25 million, $3.5 million) in funding.

This round comes from Eqvitec Partners and brings the total amount that Voddler has received up to SEK150 million (£13 million, $20.2 million), according to a spokesperson for the company.

To coincide with the announcement, Voddler is also extending its beta programme to Norway. Voddler already has 420,000 users in Sweden, and the plan is to extend that to other countries in Europe by the end of this summer.

There are so many streaming video startups in the market today, so what’s Voddler’s USP? Voddler says it has more than 30 patents covering its delivery technology, which is built on a P2P distribution system to speed up delivery. “But it’s very safe for the movie companies,” says the spokesperson. “We can take back the segments of content stored with our users at any time.”

Voddler currently distributes films from 15 studios, including Disney (NYSE: DIS), Paramount, Miramax, Columbia, Dreamworks, Touchstone, MGM and Sony…

Lots of initial interest for the service from both users and the industry, then, but still the main challenge for Voddler will be monetising its content. The company says it is mulling over a subscription model, but is still “uncertain” how that will work, or when it would get put in place.

Currently between 90 and 95 percent of the content is free to view, with those films running with two to four minutes of preroll ads. The other movies are offered on a per-day rental model costing between SEK19 and SEK37 (£1.64-3.20) to rent. Most of the content is in English with a choice of languages for subtitles, and whichever films that “are delivered in HD are sent out by us that way too,” says the spokesperson.

This round of funding follows on from another round last year. In October 2009, Voddler filed SEC documents that stated it had raised $2.2 million (£1.4 million) from backers that included Deseven Capital AB. Then in November 2009, it was reported that it picked up £3 million from unknown, possibly private, backers.

Hadar Cars, a partner at Eqvitec, is joining the board of Voddler.