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Rights Management: MOLTEN Raises $7 Million In Seed Funding From Hollywood and Tech Investors

Hollywood stars and the founder of Twitter are among those who invested $7 million into MOLTEN, a new cloud platform designed to simplify rights, content and financial management for media and entertainment businesses.

MOLTEN is a unique cloud-based platform that modernizes internal operations of media companies, across the silos of rights, content and financials. The company was founded in 2018 and the software was built by a team from MIT, along with media industry executives and leading tech advisors.

Among investors placing bets on the success of MOLTEN were actor Ashton Kutcher, former Disney president and co-founder of Creative Artists Agency Michael Ovitz, and Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey, along with other leading business people and venture capital firms.

So, what is MOLTEN, and why is this startup getting so much interest from those in the entertainment business?

Image shows how MOLTEN tracks the rights and licensing data for various properties, in this case the film Edge of Extinction. Courtesy of MOLTEN and CISION.

Essentially, MOLTEN is a new cloud platform designed to simplify and improve digital rights management for media, and particularly for video content.

“Video content consumption is increasing rapidly across streaming platforms, territories, and licenses globally,” MOLTEN said in a statement this week. “Media companies therefore face the challenge of efficiently licensing, distributing, and accounting for more content and revenue streams than ever before. Built for the pre-streaming era, existing tools to manage internal processes tend to fragment operations, limiting the scalability of media businesses and subjecting them to higher costs and legal risk.”

MOLTEN says it’s built a better mousetrap for this particular job with a cloud-based data solution that ” … reimagines conventional rights, content, and financial operations.”

The result is a data system that essentially connects the various data sources to provide an easy-to-use cloud app that allows companies to easily track their IP in real time.

One of those investors, Abstract Ventures, says it plonked its cash on the table because it clearly saw the need for a solution that was both powerful, but easy and intuitive to understand. “While the media and entertainment industry is going through incredible growth, the increasing complexity of the various data streams demands modernization of back-office operations. MOLTEN’s cloud technology is the platform we need now to connect people, data and processes within media organizations,” said Ramtin Naimi, a partner at Abstract Ventures. “We are excited to invest in this business and support its mission to simplify processes and lower operating costs for the media industry.”

The seed round was led by Abstract Ventures, and participants included Kutcher, a partner at Sound Ventures; Ovitz, co-founder at CAA and former President at The Walt Disney Company; Dorsey, the co-founder and CEO at Twitter and Square; Bill Ackman, CEO at Pershing Square Capital Management; Kevin Yorn, a leading entertainment attorney; Steffen Naumann, a former CFO at German media giant Axel Springer; Todd Ruppert, former President and CEO of T. Rowe Price Global Investments; and Henry Ward, CEO at Carta. Other participating venture capital funds include Lakestar and Valor Capital Group.

The startup says the global media and entertainment industry are already taking note of MOLTEN’s cloud-based platform.

Since first launching the beta version of the platform in late 2019, customers from six continents have already on-boarded, and today they manage hundreds of millions of film and TV rights and hundreds of terabytes of content for catalogs worth hundreds of millions of dollars on the MOLTEN platform.

MOLTEN CEO Arjun Mendhi.

Arjun Mendhi, CEO and founder at MOLTEN, came to the industry as an experienced computer engineer and product leader, who also has the experience of having been an artist and musician exposed to the challenges of managing entertainment rights.

“We exist to empower media rights-holders, such as production, distribution, and streaming organizations,” said Mendhi. “They use the MOLTEN platform to transform their businesses,” said Mendhi. “Some can, for the first time, connect rights, content, and financial data to avail new revenue opportunities, while others can automate various internal tasks, and go from months of work to seconds of processing, and reduce costs significantly.”

Ovitz, who dealt with a huge range of IP headaches both as founder of CAA and President of the Walt Disney Company, says the concept behind MOLTEN is critical in an era when films and TV series are being simultaneously licensed to many different broadcasters and streamers.

“MOLTEN is an essential innovation needed to equip media and entertainment companies to scale effectively in the global streaming era,” Ovitz explains.

The funds raised will primarily be used to help roll out the MOLTEN platform to a growing list of media customers, says Mendhi. “We value the opportunity to help our customers thrive in the rapidly changing media industry,” Mendhi added. “We are thrilled to have the confidence and support of our investors and customers as we roll out the MOLTEN platform more widely for film and TV companies everywhere.”

About MOLTEN

MOLTEN is a unique cloud-based platform that modernizes internal operations of media companies, across rights, content and financials. MOLTEN was built by a team from MIT along with media industry executives and leading tech advisors. The company was founded in 2018 and has closed $7 million in seed funding, with investments from top firms and Hollywood and tech luminaries. For more information, visit https://moltencloud.com/.

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