German startup Moviepilot has sold its successful operation in its homeland in order to focus on the US market. The company – which now has bases in California and Kreuzberg – has offloaded Moviepilot.de to French online publisher Webedia for €15 million, weeks after it claimed to have become the biggest film portal in Germany with 7.56 million monthly visits.
According to a company statement, the deal will allow Moviepilot GmbH, the German parent company, to focus fully on the rapidly growing American business through its fan community at Moviepilot.com.
In addition, the deal will see the German Moviepilot operations – including the local team – merge with Filmstarts, a subsidiary of AlloCiné, thus bringing together the country’s two largest online film sites. Webedia has said that the two teams will for now continue to work independently of each other.
Moviepilot GmbH, meanwhile, will remain in the hands of its founders, Tobias Bauckhage, Jon Handschin and Ben Kubota, and their investors which include T-Ventures, Grazia Equity and the IBB.
The English-language fan community currently chalks up a monthly average of more than 40 million hits and claims to be the world’s fastest growing film site. “The sale of our first startup, Moviepilot.de, allows us to focus even more on the US expansion with our second startup, Moviepilot.com,” said Bauckhage, also the CEO.
As for Webedia, it now has access to Moviepilot.de’s 2 million plus Facebook fans and can benefit from the 10 million plus monthly YouTube video views. “From our perspective, there is no team in Europe that has better recognised and understood the enormous potential of social publishing than Moviepilot,” said Webedia managing director Guillaume Multrier.
Perhaps the most interesting point about this deal, however, is the one made by Netzwertig – it’s a rare old feat for a German startup to see so much success in the US so early on that it feels it can abandon its domestic roots.