The creator of the popular online file-swapping software BitTorrent has lined up $8.75 million in financing from a venture capital firm in a bid to build his software into a commercial distribution tool for media companies.

Bram Cohen created BitTorrent in 2001 as a hobby after the dot-com crash left him unemployed. Since then, it has become a favorite tool for computer users to swap large files — particularly movies and other video — because it grabs bits from various computer users simultaneously as they send and receive a file. That speeds up transfers.