According to Talouselämä, a Finnish business magazine, the Finnish mobile operator Elisa has bought an approximately 10% share of Voddler in their latest stock emission. The Swedish Dagens Industri writes that Voddler will be collecting approximately 40 million crowns in the emission, possibly valuing the company at 300 million crowns (about 30 million euros).
Voddler is the “Spotify of videos”, which makes available a large catalogue of videos to consumers mostly free of charge. The newest films have to be rented for varying prices, but approximately 80% of the content is ad supported. The service is currently available in Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway. Voddler has some 700 000 members in the Nordic countries.
With the investment, Elisa’s plans include to spread the service also to Russia as well as the Baltic countries. Elisa’s Marcus Rönnblad states that the investment is not only a financial one, but a very strategic one as well. Elisa is putting a lot of emphasis on different value adding services for consumers and video is naturally a very attractive one.
Voddler was founded in 2005, headquartered in Stockholm. Its largest owners include Jan Söderberg, Tom Löfstedt, Magnus Bäcklund as well as the Finnish investment house Eqviteq.
Elisa is moving into the video scene fast by any standards. A few years ago it launched its own video service called Elisa Viihde (Elisa Entertainment – direct translation). Customers with Elisa broadband were able to subscribe to the service and rent videos for a few euros. The service has been a great success according to Mikael Rönnblad, the head of Elisa Viihde.
There are plans to integrate Voddler into the Elisa service portfolio at some point in time, but no concrete plans have yet been made.
Voddler has yet to reach profitability. According to Dagens Industri’s interview with Marcus Bäcklund the CEO of Voddler, the company will reach profitability in the Nordics in the first half of 2011. Voddler also co-operates with other operators in the area. In Sweden they work with Bredbandsbolaget and in Norway with Telenor.