Japan’s Softbank to acquire DramaFever

Fresh from its deal to invest in Legendary Entertainment, Japan’s Softbank is buying video service DramaFever, which streams TV shows and movies from around the globe.

Founded in 2009 by Seung Bak and Suk Park, DramaFever has content deals with more than 70 broadcasters and studios throughout Asia, Europe and the Americas. Content includes Korean and Japanese dramas and Spanish-language telenovelas.

Softbank vice chairman Nikesh Arora said: “We are delighted to welcome DramaFever to the SoftBank family and look forward to working with their talented team. In five short years since going live, DramaFever has built an impressive internet-based streaming video business operating at scale.”

Seung Bak said: “Having operated as a young independent company to date, we believe we are positioned for unprecedented growth with the benefit of this new strategic partnership.”

DramaFever also syndicates a portion of its library to Hulu, Netflix, Amazon and iTunes, with an overall reach of more than 20 million unique monthly viewers. The company has raised $12m to date from investors including AMC Networks, Bertelsmann, MK Capital, SoftBank Ventures, NALA Investments and YouTube co-founder Steve Chen.

Softbank recently invested $250m in US studio Legendary Entertainment and held unsuccessful takeover talks with DreamWorks Animation.