This story was written by Rafat Ali.
And yet, the funding keeps flowing in: EQAL, the new name of the production company behind the pioneering online video series Lonelygirl15, has received $5 million in funding from various investors to develop more shows beyond its first franchise and KateModern in UK. The round was led by Spark Capital, and includes some Silicon Valley heavyweights including Ron Conway and Marc Andreessen, and Georges Harik, a former Google (NSDQ: GOOG) executive. Also investing, Conrad Riggs, a Hollywood producer involved with TV shows such as "Survivor" and "The Apprentice". All this for a Santa Monica-based company. EQAL was formerly known as LG15 Studios/Telegraph Ave, and is led by CEO Miles Beckett and President Greg Goodfried. A history of the series and the company is here on Wikipedia.
The company says it is profitable through brand integration deals, something it wants to expand on with more shows. It would compete against the likes of many other such video studios, like NextNew Networks, 60Frames, and many others.
On company's blog, the founder explain the rationale: "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." Remain independent and venture capital? Truer words have...
Meanwhile, the original Lonelygirl Jessica Rose, the New Zealand actress, has moved on, and will soon return online as the star of "Blood Cell," a new horror-thriller from 60Frames, directed by Eduardo Rodriguez. More on that here.
By Rafat Ali