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Warner Bros leads $24 mn funding in digital media firm Machinima

MUMBAI: Warner Bros Entertainment has led a $24 million investment in the digital media firm Machinima, further building on its relationship with the gaming-centric company.

Existing investors Redpoint Ventures, MK Capital, Coffin Capital and co-founder Allen DeBevoise also participated in the round.

The investment comes nearly a year after WB took an $18 million stake in Machinima, which has been rebuilding its business after hitting a rough patch under previous leadership.

At the time, then CEO DeBevoise was actively seeking his replacement and the company had just conducted a round of layoffs. Since then, the company tapped former Ovation executive Chad Gutstein to run the company, and he has repositioned Machinima as a programming service dedicated to fandom and gaming culture.

Warner Bros Television Group president of business and strategy Craig Hunegs said, “Under Chad’s leadership, Machinima continues to grow as a key entertainment destination for millennials. With its enormous fan base, Machinima is an important exhibition partner, providing content creators, including Warner Bros, multiple platforms for distributing and monetizing digital content and programming brands.”

Machinima currently reaches 170 million monthly unique viewers, representing 70 per cent growth over the last year. The Machinima YouTube network has over 430 million subscribers worldwide.

Gutstein added, “This additional funding will enable Machinima to accelerate our growth through increased investments in content and technology that better serves our audiences, advertisers, creators and distributors.”

Machinima has had a long relationship with the studio, which began with live-action web series ‘Mortal Kombat: Legacy’. Later this year Machinima will release animated series ‘Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles’ in partnership with DC Comics and Blue Ribbon Content, the digital short-form studio inside Warner Bros.