MUBI, a site for film snobs, raises $2.4M

Ronny Kerr · January 7, 2011 · Short URL:

Formerly known as The Auteurs, online cinema site secures $2.4 million round, one million members


Online cinema site MUBI has raised a $2.4 million round led by Eduardo Costantini with participation from existing investors Martin Varsavsky and Alec Oxenford and new investors Aydin Senkut, Georges Harik, Joel Peterson, Bart Decrem and Jose Marin.

Brief bios on the investors: Constantini is the head of venture capital firm Consultatio, based in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Varsavsky is a self-described Argentine/Spanish entrepreneur currently working on FON, a crowdsourced WiFi service; Oxenford is the co-founder of OLX, a classifieds website; Senkut is the founder and managing director of Felicis Ventures; Harik is a Google engineer turned angel; Peterson is founder of Peterson Partners; Decrem is SVP and general manager for Disney Mobile, formerly CEO and founder of Tapulous.

MUBI is the ultimate movie site for hardcore film aficionados. Though it changed its name from “The Auteurs” in May 2010, the site has never changed its elegantly simple approach to design, maintaining one of the best-looking movie collections on the Web. At its core, MUBI lets users search for films they’ve seen, rate them, become a fan or highlight as a movie you want to watch. Any user can create lists based on any criteria, like 20 Favorite Movies of All Time or Best of 2010.

posterBeyond that, users can actually watch old and new films hosted directly on the MUBI platform. Feature films, like Tokyo Eyes from 1998, cost $3 to watch, while short films cost $1. More dedicated users can watch unlimited movies for $12 per month. Free films pop up from time to time, as well. Last year, I recall a short silent film version of Alice in Wonderland from 1903 being featured on the site for free, around the time Tim Burton’s version was released to theaters. The site has secured 145 distribution deals globally and has the rights to show more than 3,000 films.

But wait, there’s more. MUBI also curates a blog called The Daily Notebook, which updates (at least once) daily with the latest film news and reviews from around the world. Additionally, the site closely follows the world’s biggest film festivals, from Sundance to Stockholm.

And, of course, what site would be complete without a social aspect? Users can “follow” each other, send messages, and have Facebook-like walls for discussing films or anything related to films. There’s even a forum dedicated to these conversations.

With such attention to detail, it’s no wonder that MUBI has secured this new funding round and continues to grow, having just passed the one million member mark.

Can a site that primarily appeals to the film snob manage to attract many millions of members? MUBI hopes to do so in 2011.

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