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VHX Raises $5 Million to Help Movie Makers Sell Their Stuff Online

Web movie sales are getting renewed attention, courtesy of "The Interview." Welcome to the club, says VHX.

Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Did you hear? It turns out people like to watch movies online.

That’s the takeaway from the newest statistics from Sony, which says people have spent more than $31 million to watch “The Interview” at home, via outlets like iTunes and Google Play.

That’s also encouraging news for Brooklyn-based VHX, a startup dedicated to making it easier for people to sell movies on the Web.

VHX is raising a $5 million round led by Comcast Ventures. Investors who had previously put $3 million into the company, including Union Square Ventures, Lerer Hippeau Ventures and Reddit Chairman Alexis Ohanian, are also investing.

The company has closed $4.25 million of the round and expects the rest to come in, likely via a strategic investor, by the end of the month, says CEO and co-founder Jamie Wilkinson.

VHX is focused on movies with ardent fan bases but comparatively low profiles, and says it can make it easier and more profitable for filmmakers to use its services than going through Apple and Google. It also has competitors: IAC’s Vimeo has been pushing into online sales, and Kernel just made a name for itself by helping Sony sell “The Interview” via a home-grown site.

Wilkinson says VHX generated $4.7 million in sales last year, led by movies like “Expelled” and “Camp Takota,” both of which feature stars with big YouTube followings. He says the new money will help his company focus on expanding its presence on media devices, like Apple’s iOS gadgets and Roku’s line of video players.

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