ITV Invests in Ex-Maker Studios CEO Danny Zappin’s Zealot Networks
With the new round, Zealot says it’s now raised $30 million and has a valuation of more than $100 million. Previously, the company had raised $25 million from Zappin and a host of former Maker Studios executives and talent, which suggests that ITV’s stake is worth $5 million.
The funding will go to support the building out of Zealot’s digital studio capability as well as continued M&A activity, the companies said. Just last week, Zealot made its first acquisition, buying content licensing firm AudioMicro for around $20 million. The company hopes to build a business that spans multiple digital-media businesses, including a production studio, talent management, and marketing.
“ITV’s investment provides a foothold in Europe and lays the groundwork for Zealot’s global expansion,” said Zappin, who serves as president and CEO of Zealot, in a statement. “The ITV relationship also gives us upstream opportunities for IP/content to distribute across traditional and digital media platforms.”
“A key part of ITV’s strategy is to exploit the increasing global demand for quality content across a range of platforms, which closely aligns with Zealot’s own ambitions to not only distribute content across its own sites, but also to third party platforms such as YouTube, Vine, and Instagram,” added Kevin Lygo, managing director of ITV Studios.
Under the terms of the deal, ITV will join Zealot’s board of directors.
This investment comes a few months after ITV put money into Believe Entertainment Group, a NY-based digital studio behind shows like LeBron James’ “The LeBrons” and Jay Mohr’s “Money Where Your Mouth Is.”Tags: Danny Zappin, financing, investment, ITV, maker studios, Zealot Networks