Here’s SoftBank’s latest move in its effort to become a global Internet power, following its recent $250M investment in Legendary Entertainment, talks with DreamWorks Animation, and acquisition of wireless provider Sprint. Today it picked up DramaFever, a premium web video service which is heavy with Asian and Spanish-language fare. DramaFever’s been shopped around for months, at a time when many large companies are eager to buy their way into the fast-growing Internet video business. DramaFever streams 700 titles and 15,000 episodes from 70 global broadcasters and studios and has syndication agreements with Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes. The company says it reaches 20M unique viewers each month.SoftBank and DramaFever won’t disclose financial terms, so we can’t tell whether this is a windfall or disappointment for the video service’s backers which include AMC Networks, Bertelsmann, and MK Capital. DramaFever raised $12M prior to the SoftBank deal.
Founders Seung Bak and Suk Park “have a proven business model in a dynamic industry, and we look forward to helping them bring their highly popular video content to an even larger global audience,” says SoftBank Internet And Media CEO Nikesh Arora.
Park calls this “a triumphant day for our content partners who have demonstrated that engaging stories and characters transcend languages and borders. It is also a great day for our viewers, who can continue to expect DramaFever to bring them the best series and movies from around the world. With the support of SoftBank, we will be further empowered to curate the content that our increasingly global audience of young, passionate viewers loves.”