The DVD Biz, the Edinburgh-based company which operates the DVDs365.com online DVD rental firm and plans to launch an online film distribution service later this year, has bought three rival online film rental businesses for an undisclosed six-figure sum.
The DVD Biz is owned by Scottish technology entrepreneur Bill Dobbie and his brother-in-law Angus MacSween. The two co-founded Iomart, the internet security company based in Glasgow, six years ago. Prior to that they had founded telecoms services company Teledata, which they sold to Scottish Telecom for £12m.
Last year, Dobbie gave up his Iomart executive directorship to concentrate on The DVD Biz, which he launched in 2003. He has raised more than £5m from selling Iomart shares in the past six months, but still has 4.7 per cent of the company, which has a market capitalisation of around £95m.
The latest acquisitions – Mailbox Movies, MovieTrak and Qflicks.co.uk – give The DVD Biz more than 12,000 subscribers and increases the stock of movies it can send out from its distribution centre in Fife to more than 25,000 titles. Dobbie hopes to acquire 100,000 subscribers within five years, and believes that an online distribution service will also allow the company to expand into Europe.