Letterboxd sells a majority stake after explosive pandemic-fueled growth

The film-focused social media site LetterBoxd has new ownership. Cofounder Matthew Buchanan announced on Friday that Tiny, a venture capital firm, has bought a 60 percent stake in the platform. The New York Times reported that the deal values Letterboxd at over $50 million. Buchanan and fellow founder Karl von Randow will retain minority shareholder positions and continue to lead the company as they insist “very little else will change.”

Founded in 2011, Letterboxd was a rare independently owned social network. It grew significantly during pandemic lockdowns as homebound users sought new movies to stream (and communities to chat with). Lacking the clutter of Amazon-owned IMDb, the website and app provided a haven for film buffs who wanted to write and read reviews, rate movies, create watch lists and socialize with fellow enthusiasts.

Letterboxd’s cofounders frame the move as less about selling out to big money and more a growth opportunity. “Teaming up with Tiny represents a big leap forward for us,” Buchanan and von Randow wrote in a statement. “We see this as a huge win for our community, enabling us to cement Letterboxd’s future with additional resources without sacrificing the DNA of what makes it special.”

The site doesn’t currently support television series, but the founders say they’re working on a way to offer that. They insist they want to incorporate TV shows “only once we know we can do it right.” Letterboxd partnered with Netflix earlier this year, bringing the streaming service’s recommendations to the social platform.

“We’ve been huge fans and users of Letterboxd for a long time and could not be more excited to join forces with Matthew, Karl, and the rest of the team for the long-term,” said Andrew Wilkinson, Co-founder of Tiny. “If you’re running out of things to watch, it’s because you haven’t used Letterboxd yet — and we believe that the potential for superior discovery is a large opportunity.”

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