Movie Pass Inc.the technology platform enhancing cinema exploration and the cinematic experience, today announced that it has raised its seed funding led by Animoca brands with participation from Claritas Capital, Emerald Plus, Gaingels, Harlem Capital, PKO VC and Sandhill Angels. Animoca Brands Executive Chairman and Co-Founder Yat Siu will join MoviePass’ Board of Directors.
MoviePass will use the new funding to accelerate the beta relaunch of its cinema subscription service, and to develop and implement the company’s Web3 strategy, including virtual reality cinema experiences and the use of technology to drive traffic to cinemas.
MoviePass is also in discussions with studios to share key learnings on increasing attendance and promoting better engagement through technology.
“MoviePass has a strong vision for technology in entertainment, and our investment demonstrates our commitment to maximizing the value MoviePass can bring to the entire film industry,” said Yat Siu, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder. from Animoca Brands. “With its initiatives to increase traffic to theaters, engage audiences with enhanced cinematic experiences, connect studios and their franchise characters to moviegoers, and make financing more accessible to aspiring filmmakers, we believe MoviePass will help define the future of cinema.”
In the roll call of terrible business ideas, MoviePass ranks alongside the Sinclair C5, Juicero and The soup tube.
Starting in 2017, MoviePass sold subscriptions for unlimited movie tickets that cost $9.95 per month. He then bought each movie ticket at the full retail price, which was usually over $9.95, meaning that as soon as a customer watched just one movie a month, they were losing money.
Over 2 million people signed up for MoviePlus in the first year and went to the movies fairly regularly, so for every $9.95 monthly subscription, it was buying about $22 worth of tickets. In January 2020, after several changes to the proposal, MoviePlus was bankrupt.
Last November, the Ministry of Justice laid charges of fraud against its former chief executive and chairman of its parent company Helios & Matheson Analytics (HMNY). He alleges the pair, Ted Farnsworth and Mitch Lowe, misrepresented his flash scaling strategy as a proven and enduring business plan. Additionally, according to the DoJ, they . . .
… allegedly made false claims that HMNY owned and used technology – such as “big data” and “artificial intelligence” platforms – to generate revenue by analyzing and monetizing data collected by MoviePass from subscribers. However, the indictment alleges that Farnsworth and Lowe knew that HMNY did not possess such technologies or capabilities to monetize MoviePass subscriber data or incorporate such technologies into the MoviePass app.
On March 2, 2018, Lowe spoke at the Entertainment Finance Forum, delivering a keynote titled “Data is the New Oil: How Will MoviePass Monetize It?” Even though MoviePass doesn’t collect basic demographic information for all of its subscribers, Lowe erroneously stated that MoviePass collects “an enormous amount of information” about its subscribers, and even tracks its subscribers through their phones. The following week, on March 12, 2018, Lowe issued an e-mail apology to MoviePass subscribers, partners and employees, stating that “through a mixture of exuberance about our future and banter” he “misinterpreted the how MoviePass locates [its] members” and explaining that MoviePass does not “track” its subscribers. On March 13, 2018, Farnsworth sent Lowe a text message stating that HMNY shares were “going down” and investors were “saying exactly what I was afraid we weren’t a big data company and we just l ‘admit. . . .” While Lowe’s apology acknowledged that MoviePass had amassed a more limited universe of data than he led the public to believe, the March 12 apology did nothing to correct the mistaken impression that MoviePass was using the HMNY’s technology and capabilities to analyze subscriber data in possession of MoviePass.
MoviePass founder Stacy Spikes bought out the assets from bankruptcy in late 2021 and relaunched the service last year in closed beta with minimalist website. Spikes had sold a majority stake in Moviepass to HMNY in 2017, then left the company in early 2018 after apparently disagree with new owners on pricing.
lead the first funding cycle for its reboot is Animoca brandsa Hong Kong-based crypto speculator who arrived early in the NFT bubble via an investment in the CryptoKitties developer. Animoca is perhaps best known for leading The Sandbox, an Ethereum-powered metaverse world whose apparent subpopulation has not ceased to attract renowned tenants of which HSBC.
The value of Sandbox, measured by the market capitalization of its native tokendrew a familiar shape:
Animoca thinks there’s an overlap between cinema customers and metaverse and blockchain fans, Spikes says Variety. “We’re both thinking about things like, what’s the future of cinema. We’re in the same mindset.