European Conglomerate Takes Controlling Stake of BroadbandTV with $36 Million Investment

A European entertainment conglomerate has invested a staggering $36 million in Vancouver’s BroadbandTV, giving it a 51% stake in the Canadian company.

The conglomerate, RTL, says this is only the first of a series of investments in BroadbandTV, which will remain based in Vancouver. BroadbandTV, which was founded in 2005, works with almost 8,000 independent channel partners and media companies.

“We have an ambitious growth plan with RTL,” founder Shahrzad Rafati told Variety’s digital editor, Todd Spangler. However, she would not disclose the valuation of her company.

BroadbandTV, which has over 50 full-time employees, raised a small angel round in 2007 and reached profitability in 2009. During the first quarter of this year, the number of video views on BroadbandTV’s sites grew 169%, now sitting at more than two billion, according to Spangler.

The Canadian company, under RTL’s control, will open US offices in LA and San Francisco as well as a European office in Berlin.

Rafati was honoured in May with YWCA’s Women of Distinction Award for Entrepreneurism. The recognition is bestowed on women whose drive, ingenuity and solid vision for business separates them from their competitors, according to the organization behind the award.

“What an honour to be recognized amongst some of the most driven and inspiring women in business,” she said at the time. “I am both grateful and humbled to be in the company of my fellow nominees who have made great sacrifices and risk to successfully launch and manage their respective businesses.”

“This achievement was well deserved,” added Hamed Shahbazi, who sits on BroadbandTV’s board of directors. “I have seen Shahrzad consistently produce outstanding results with entrepreneurial ingenuity, an uncompromising force of will and laser like execution.”