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New Form raises $18 mn in Series B Funding Round from ITV, Discovery
MUMBAI: Entertainment studio New Form has announced an $18 million series B round of funding from ITV and Discovery Communications.
ITV has taken a minority stake in the company and inked a strategic partnership with New Form. Initial investor Discovery is making an additional investment for a total Series B funding round of $18 million.
The $18 million funding round is the largest in New Form’s class and will allow the studio to further invest in its proven development and production model. Additionally, New Form will be growing new business ventures with branded entertainment and international expansion, as well as investing in social programming. This investment reinforces New Form’s proven success in bringing high-quality scripted content to the growing digital market. The New Form executive team is led by newly-promoted CEO Kathleen Grace, COO JC Cangilla and executive VP Originals and Development, Melissa Schneider.
In 2014, Discovery had announced the funding and formation of New Form, a next generation digital studio, with entertainment executives and operating partners Ed Wilson, Jim Wiatt and Craig Jacobson. Since then, New Form has produced 30 pilots and sold 20 of those to series since its launch in 2014. New Form’s series are consistently the most watched on platforms such as go90 and YouTube Red, Refinery 29, CW The Seed, Freeform Digital, Fullscreen and others.
Additionally, the studio announced its first linear series deal with TBS this past week. With an ever-growing pool of talented writers, directors, producers and actors, New Form runs an incubator program, a digital development division, a production studio and a distribution arm. In its short history, New Form has already achieved numerous accolades, including the single-day sales record for Vimeo on Demand, achieved by ‘Oscar’s Hotel for Fantastical Creatures’ and the most successful scripted series ever on Refinery 29, ‘Shitty Boyfriends’.
“This investment marks a significant validation of New Form’s focus and creative output over the last two years. Our vision for storytelling, our understanding of the audience and our unique production process, coupled with our track record with finding like-minded distributors, has made us the most prolific studio in the business and we are thrilled to have ITV and Discovery as partners for New Form’s next chapter,” said Grace.
The investment follows ITV’s recently announced partnership with youth content company AwesomenessTV to license, co-produce and distribute new shows for ITV2 and the ITV Hub from early 2017, as well as its existing investments in US digital content companies Believe Entertainment, Zealot and Indigenous Media. ITV has also invested in international eSports TV channel Ginx TV, alongside Sky, which launched this summer.
ITV MD online, pay TV and interactive Simon Pitts said, “New Form is at the forefront of a new generation of talented producer-broadcasters who are not only creating fantastic new shows, but can also build loyal audiences and brands online. New Form’s hit rate has been very impressive since launching only two years ago and they are a great fit for ITV Studios and our OTT service, the ITV Hub, as we continue to build our digital content capability. We’re excited to be working with Kathleen Grace, JC Cangilla, Melissa Schneider and the rest of the New Form team as the business moves into its next phase of growth.”
“When we announced our plans to launch New Form, we were excited about the opportunities to create meaningful programming and stories for today’s digital viewers. In less than three years, New Form has put itself on the map as one of the strongest new creative and distribution engines in the digital video space. We congratulate New Form on its success and are proud to continue our investment” said Discovery executive VP, GM digital media Karen Leever.
The partnership between ITV and New Form includes a multi-year commercial agreement that will bring New Form properties to The ITV Hub starting 2017.