Over at his Cinematech, Scott Kirsner rounds up the news that EQAL, a “microstudio formed by the guys behind the lonelygirl15 series and KateModern” has raised $5 million in venture capital from Sparks Capital in Boston along with Marc Andreessen and Ron Conway.
Producers of the Internet-video serial “lonelygirl15” — once thought to be an amateur project but later revealed to be the product of professionals — have raised $5 million from prominent technology investors to expand and introduce new online shows.
The new funding for EQAL, the Los Angeles company behind “lonelygirl” and another popular Internet drama, “KateModern,” illustrates Silicon Valley’s continuing push to move video onto the Web and find better ways to make money from it. Though the online-video industry got a big boost after Google Inc. bought video site YouTube for $1.6 billion two years ago, many companies are still struggling to come up with viable revenue models.
Todd Dagres, a partner at Spark Capital, the Boston-based firm that led EQAL’s round of financing, said the studio understands that “the Web is not TV, and you can’t advertise like you do on TV.”
Instead, EQAL, formerly known as LG15 Studios and led by Chief Executive Miles Beckett and President Greg Goodfried, plans to weave advertising into the content of their shows, Mr. Dagres said, and also to interact with its community of viewers.
And here are the Eqal folks themselves from their blog:
It’s an exciting time for online entertainment. There are a slew of independent producers, digital studios, and social media companies sprouting up, not to mention the fact that traditional media isn’t exactly ignoring this whole “internets” thing. We’ve always wanted to stay independent and produce interactive shows that we could put our hearts and souls into, and sometime last fall we realized that raising money would give us the ability to remain independent and produce amazing shows on our terms.
After six months of fast food and airplane delays, we found a VC that shared our vision to build a company that would produce truly interactive shows. Many of the exciting innovations we’ve all talked about will finally come to fruition now that we have the funding to act on our shared vision. Needless to say, we’re very excited to get started.