Facebook-centric entertainment and data firm Moviepilot has attracted a second round of funding worth $16 million, much of which it will spend promoting itself to consumers through branded content.
"We focus on content marketing when it comes to brand-building," said co-founder Tobias Bauckhage. "The belief is that if we invest in content and make sure that content is reaching the right audiences, that our brand and relevance will naturally grow."
Moviepilot operates a publishing platform that revolves around fan-made content and relies heavily on distribution through its genre-themed pages on Facebook such as Moviepilot Fantasy and Moviepilot Vampires. The company gathers data on Facebook fans such as age, gender, location and interests, then creates larger look-alike pools of consumers to target online on behalf of advertisers.
The company said its monthly Facebook video views grew from 6 million in October of 2014 to around 48 million in July of 2015.
The company will use its in-house creative team, which handles social publishing and branded video, for its content marketing efforts, Mr. Bauckhage said. The team also creates marketing campaigns for Moviepilot's studio clients, which include 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures, Lionsgate, and Focus Features.
Moviepilot will also deploy the investment to build the data analytics side of its business. "We'll be continuing our work in data analytics and will continue to work with a huge Facebook fanbase of 30 million fans to better understand audience affinities when it comes to entertainment and pop culture," Mr. Bauckhage said.
Some of the new funding will help build out Moviepilot's TV and gaming brands as well, said Mr. Bauckhage.
The new funding comes from French publishing outfit Webedia, DFJ Esprit and T-Venture. Webedia, a French video- and gaming-site holding company, bought Germany's Moviepilot.de -- a separate entity from Moviepilot -- for $20 million in 2014. The first round of funding for U.S.-based Moviepilot, worth $7 million, came from DFJ Esprit and T-Venture.