Los Angeles Business Journal

Seed&Spark Raises $1 Million for Crowdfunding Indie Films

By Melissah Yang Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Seed&Spark, a crowdfunding and digital distribution platform for independent films, has raised $1 million in seed funding.

Manitou Ventures led the round, with participation from producer and philanthropist Abigail Disney; Catapult Film Fund co-founder Lisa Kleiner-Chanoff; Emmy-winning producer and Spacestation Founder Matthew Mills; Mitro founder Vijay Pandurangan; and angel investor Deborah Meijer, among others.

Seed&Spark selects independent films for fans to back, and releases the money when 80 percent of the funding goal is reached. Finished projects are available to watch through its website for a small fee.

Founder and Chief Executive Emily Best said her downtown L.A. startup differs from crowdfunding platforms Kickstarter and Indiegogo because it handles both funding and distribution. Since its 2012 launch, Seed&Spark has not only raised more than $1 million to help 70 films get made, but also has gotten most of them distributed through a number of its partnerships, including American Express’ cable channel, Amex Now.

“If you look at statistics of how much is being invested in indie films, there’s plenty of funding available,” Best said. “It’s just not being distributed equitably or democratically, and it doesn’t incentivize the diverse voices who will engage broad audiences.”

Seed&Spark, which collects 5 percent from crowdfunded films and 20 percent commission off films rented in its digital library, is currently not looking to expand its seven-person team and will use the funding toward developing its distribution partnerships.

Staff reporter Melissah Yang can be reached at MYang@labusinessjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter @MelissahYang for the latest in L.A. tech news.