If Amazon got LoveFilm at a $312m valuation – who is buying the drinks tonight?

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With Amazon’s purchase of the remaining shares of European video streaming and rental business Lovefilm, comes a welcome exit for the latter’s long-suffering investors, many of whom have been invested in the company since it started way back in the early 2000s. Terms were not disclosed, but we have it on good authority that Lovefilm was valued at around $312 million (here in London we also heard a £200 million figure) for the purposes of the acquisition. Which means that the VC institutions that invested in Lovefilm (Balderton Capital, DFJ Esprit, and Index Ventures) have all now managed to exit.

The investors have put out a joint statement thanking the team and acknowledging, in particular, “the contribution that Alex Chesterman, Mark Livingston, Saul Klein and William Reeve played in laying the foundations.” Fair comment: LoveFilm has over 1.5 million subscribers across the UK, Germany, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Of course, now Amazon’s has a number of bases covered now: books with kindle, music and now VOD with Lovefilm.

But a few individuals will have benefitted as well. Some will have had their liquidity event in 2008 when Amazon bought into Lovefilm originally, some earlier when it merged with Video Island. Some will even wince at this post, wishing they’d not exited long ago. And some will be buying the round of drinks tonight. We’ll let you speculate in the comments as to whom…

Sherry Coutu is an angel investor who first rose to prominence in the 1990s as founder of Interactive Investor, later acquired by Euromoney, not to mention the $1bn Nasdaq floatation of another company in 2000. Sherry is active in early stage investing and co-chair with LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman of Silicon Valley Comes to Cambridge. She laso has many charitable and government affiliations including the Prince’s Trust, Cancer Research UK and NESTA.

Thomas Hoegh is chairman of investor Arts Alliance and a long time investor, including in Lovefilm

Saul Kelin, a partner at Index Ventures and chairman of Seedcamp, co-founded and served as CEO for Video Island, an Index-funded venture that later merged with LoveFilm.

Simon Calver has been in charge of Lovefilm since 2006.

Adam Valkin, is a partner at Accel Partners and was also formely with Arts Alliance. He was also co-founder and interim CEO of Lovefilm

William Reeve, a serial entrepreneur and business angel based in London, co-founded what was then known as ScreenSelect in 2003, which grew rapidly and took over a variety of other businesses, before rebranding as LOVEFiLM.com in 2006.

Arican Wegter, is also a co-founder and former managing director of Lovefilm and exited in 2008. Today, Ari is Managing Director of GlibHippo and is based out of Copenhagen.

Simon Murdoch is a serial entrepreneur and Angel investor (Simon set up online bookstore Bookpages in 1996 and sold it to Amazon in 1998 and leading Amazon in Europe for a few more years). He was a partner in Episode 1 Partners, an early stage technology VC which managed the $100m Chase Episode 1 Fund. As an Angel investor, he has invested in Shazam, been chairman of Video Island which merged with LoveFilm. He’s also an investor in Zoopla! and Shutl.

Paul Gardner was a a cofounder and CTO of Lovefilm. He started with a position as a UNIX systems administrator for the first ISP in Europe. As well as other startups, on March 2010, Paul joined medCrowd to develop digital solutions for healthcare. Typical CTO: we can’t find a picture of him…

Alex Chesterman co-founder of ScreenSelect (and now founder of Zoopla.co.uk).

  • http://jetlib.com/news/2011/01/20/if-amazon-got-lovefilm-at-a-312m-valuation-%e2%80%93-who-is-buying-the-drinks-tonight/ If Amazon Got LoveFilm At A $312m Valuation – Who Is Buying The Drinks Tonight? | JetLib News

    […] Read the rest of this entry » […]

  • http://twitter.com/mayerreich mayerreich

    Pretty sure Adam Valkin is with Accel Partners not whatever it is you wrote.
    Congrats to all!

  • http://trendoloji.com/?p=950 İçki Tonight Alış Is

    […] Read the rest of this entry » […]

  • http://filmrant.co.uk/movie-marketing-news-amazon-loves-lovefilm/ Amazon and LoveFilm: A movie marketing match made in heaven? | Film Rant

    […] web is already abuzz with speculation on the financial details of the deal, with sites like TechCrunch claiming it to be somewhere in the region of $312m (£195m), but there are perhaps some bigger and more important questions people might want answered. What […]

  • Djean00

    And it’s Saul Klein, not Saul Kelin.

  • http://www.oddities.us Oddities.Us

    So, after drinks, its time for streamlining! Woohoo!
    That celebration will be a double edged sword. Political shifts in power and power plays for posts.
    Im just JOKING! LOL!


  • Abe Frohman

    Meet me at the bar, 1st round’s on me!


  • http://twitter.com/maxniederhofer maxniederhofer

    Awesome that this saga has such a happy ending. Disagree on the “long-suffering investors” thing: people rushed into this space, turned out a little different than everyone thought, Lovefilm is the only company to have survived when tens of these businesses went under all over Europe. In the beginning this was a rush like Groupon. The exit is well within the timelines for the funds invested here. It’s not a total home-run, but the end-result is an impressive business. Only too bad that once again wsell Europe’s crown jewels to our transatlantic friends instead of a European media company (not like there aren’t any large ones) manning up.

    Constructive note to TC: with an hour or two, a few quid for Companies House and some direct calls to sources you could probably get a pretty good approximation of who got what when it comes to institutionals. Seeing options outstanding etc. will be harder.

  • http://hkanm.org/?p=11038 Amazon Buys European Movie Streaming & Rental Company Lovefilm | 香港新媒體協會

    […] Amazon announced today that it has acquired Lovefilm, one of the leading European movie rental services. Amazon already owned a minority share of the company, and will now acquire the remaining shares in the company. The terms of the sale were not disclosed, but some reports say $200 million; others put the valuation of Lovefilm at £200 million. […]

  • http://sports.demos.elpejecajon.com/?p=34285 Amazon Scoops Up LoveFilm (Europe’s Version of Netflix) : Test Drive

    […] of the deal were not disclosed, though TechCrunch claims to “have it on good authority that LoveFilm was valued at around $312 million for the […]

  • http://www.quora.com/How-much-did-Amazon-pay-to-buy-out-Lovefilm#ans309818 How much did Amazon pay to buy out Lovefilm? - Quora

    […] million (here in London we also heard a £200 million figure) for the purposes of the acquisition.http://eu.techcrunch.com/2011/01…Insert a dynamic date hereView All 0 CommentsCannot add comment at this […]

  • http://thebatchannel.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/amazon-scoops-up-lovefilm-europes-version-of-netflix/ Amazon Scoops Up LoveFilm (Europe’s Version of Netflix) « The BAT Channel

    […] of the deal were not disclosed, though TechCrunch claims to "have it on good authority that LoveFilm was valued at around $312 million for the purposes […]

  • http://www.entrepreneurmagazines.co.uk/entrepreneur/the-lovefilm-legacy-financial-times-blog The Lovefilm legacy – Financial Times (blog)

    […] The Lovefilm legacyFinancial Times (blog)But as one entrepreneur friend said to me upon hearing the news: “Yet another one gone to the USA then.” Dharmash Mistry, partner at Balderton Capital, …If Amazon got LoveFilm at a $312m valuation – who is buying the drinks tonight?TechCrunch […]

  • http://netflixreporter.com/2011/01/21/amazon-acquires-the-rest-of-lovefilm-streaming-war-for-europe-begins/ Amazon Acquires the Rest of Lovefilm; Streaming War for Europe Begins

    […] TechCrunch reports that Amazon has bought the rest of Lovefilm for $312 million, a Netflix-like service that covers most of Europe (UK, Germany, Sweden, Norway & Denmark). Lovefilm has more than 1.5 million subscribers, and offers streaming, DVD-by-mail, and even game rentals. With Netflix focused on international expansion and Europe being a logical next target, Amazon will have a head start on Netflix in one of the biggest English-speaking markets. Looks like the streaming war for Europe is just getting started. […]

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  • http://eu.techcrunch.com/2011/03/14/lovefilm-extends-its-internet-connected-reach-with-support-for-oregans-tv-friendly-browser/ Lovefilm extends its Internet-connected reach with support for Oregan’s TV-friendly browser

    […] is continuing its expansion to Internet-connected televisions. The company, which was recently fully acquired by Amazon, is partnering with Oregan Networks, makers of the TV-friendly web browser […]

  • http://eu.techcrunch.com/2011/04/19/lovefilm-gets-its-streaming-hands-on-disney/ Lovefilm gets its streaming hands on Disney

    […] what is being billed as a first outside of the traditional Pay TV window, Amazon-owned Lovefilm has signed a streaming deal with Disney that covers both subscription-based […]

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