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Molten Raises $7M to Help Solve Rights and Content Management Challenges

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The last 20 years has seen a sea change in the way media companies deliver video to consumers, but back office operations like rights management, licensing, and financials have lagged behind. That's the problem that Molten is looking to solve, and they got a big boost this week when they raised $7 million in funding, including from big name investors like actor Ashton Kutcher, former Walt Disney Company president Michael Ovitz, and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who also sits on the company's board of advisors.

"It's a massive problem, and it's a massive opportunity," says CEO and founder Arjun Mendhi. "The last revolution happened with the dot-com boom. Now we are looking at the re-architecture of the back office.

"If you're a film or production company, you're managing a few hundred titles, a hundred territories, and dozens of platforms and unique rights agreements. The overhead is becoming unmanageable," he adds. "We aren't trying to put a Band-Aid on a fragmented infrastructure, but build a modern one from the ground up." 

Molten is an enterprise cloud platform that Mendhi says is built as a general-purpose intellectual property infrastructure. Content and distribution companies upload rights data, contracts, and financials into the cloud platform, and then Molten builds apps on top of that data.

Mendhi's background is in both art and science. As an undergraduate, he was a coder by day and played in a rock band at night. The band was approached by producers and other music industry folks and Mendhi saw firsthand how complicated and fraught the world of media rights was. "I had an obsession with the underlying mechanics of the media industry," he says, and he soon quit the band and focused full-time on the tech. "Every time I learned something new about cloud technologies, I thought about how to apply it to the media industry."

Molten's goal, of course, is to not just simplify the ecosystem but allow its customers to generate more revenue. The company now has customers across six continents and manages close to 200 million film and TV rights, he says. The company's business model is based on a licensing fee, and customers pay for only the services they use, such as storage and bandwidth. "Companies typically save 80% of their distribution costs," Mendhi claims. 

Mendhi says Molten will use the funding to ramp up R&D as well as increase awareness at a crucial time for the media industry. "It's one of those inflection points that happens once every few decades. We've got five decades of broadcast technology, and now it's all moving to the cloud."

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