Raine, the boutique merchant bank that’s a big investor in Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s Important Studios, and which has close ties to WME, has added another media investment to its portfolio. Making its first commitment via new venture arm, Raine Ventures, the company led a $10M Series B funding round for online food network Tastemade. Launched last year, Tastemade has built a network of international cooking shows on its YouTube channel with over 12M viewers in more than 200 countries. It also recently launched an App that allows consumers to create their own one-minute raves about the places and dishes they love and then share them across mobile and social platforms. Raine’s other investments include Vice and online game developer Jagex. In January, it partnered with Chinese fund China Media Capital to invest in the sports, entertainment and digital media sectors.
The Raine Group, a boutique merchant bank with close ties to WME, has partnered with Chinese fund China Media Capital to invest in the sports, entertainment and digital media sectors in China and on an international level. Raine, which recently took a stake in Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s nascent Important Studios, also has investments in Vice, online game developer Jagex, ecommerce platform OpenSky and Zumba Fitness, among others. CMC, an $800M fund, also controls Star China, a joint venture with News Corp. and in August partnered with DreamWorks Animation in a plan to build The Dream Center theme park in Shanghai. CMC chairman Li Ruigang told The Financial Times that investments would initially be focused in China but that he would also seek out global opportunities. He added he’s working on raising a new privately-owned media investment fund. Below is the Raine press release:
NEW YORK and SHANGHAI — The Raine Group and China Media Capital (CMC) today announced that they have formed a strategic partnership to collaborate broadly across the global media landscape. The partnership intends to leverage the industry and geographic expertise of both firms towards select investments in the sports, entertainment and digital media sectors, both in China and around the world. The new partnership will entail exchanging investment strategies, co-investing with each other, sharing resources and developing focused conferences for Chinese and Western media thought leaders.
Later today Trey Parker and Matt Stone are going to declare their new Important Studios open for business (press release is below). On Monday, reports the New York Times, the South Park and Book of Mormon co-creators will announce a new production studio. “Having worked with several different studios over the years, we came to realize that our favorite people in the world are ourselves,” the Times quotes the yet-unreleased Important Studios press release from the duo. Parker and Stone will use revenue from their very successful South Park, now in its 16th season on Comedy Central, and their Broadway blockbuster Book of Mormon to fund Important Studios to produce TV, Theater and Feature film projects – like a movie based on their Tony Award winning musical. But it’s not just their money on the table. In a deal partially orchestrated by WME’s Ari Emanuel, boutique bank The Raine Group have reportedly $60 million in Important Studios for approximately 20% of the company. WME has an investment itself in the media and sports focused bank. Both Parker and Stone are themselves both represented by WME.
NEW YORK, NY (January 14, 2013) – Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the co-creators of “South Park” and “The Book of Mormon,” and The Raine Group, a boutique merchant bank focused exclusively