UK-based Ingenious Ventures, the private equity division of investment and advisory group Ingenious, has announced two investments by its Media Opportunities Fund. The fund has backed Property Network and Digital Theatre.
Ingenious Ventures, the private equity division of investment and advisory group Ingenious, announces two investments by its Media Opportunities Fund in Property Network and Digital Theatre. Ingenious Ventures specialises in backing companies across the media sector.
Ingenious Ventures has made an investment from the Media Opportunities Fund in Property Network, the first company on Facebook to allow users to search and share details of property for sale or rent. Ingenious Ventures led the funding round with follow-on and new investment from Finance Yorkshire’s Seedcorn and Equity funds respectively.
Based in Leeds, Property Network (recently rebranded from Property Place) already has over 900,000 registered properties, making it the third largest property database in the UK after Rightmove and Zoopla. It supports 8,000 estate agents by profiling their properties on Facebook. The company intends to use the investment on marketing to one million new users and 1.2 million registered properties over the next six months.
The company was founded in 2011 by Sohail Rashid, CEO. Its chairman is Dean Fielding, former finance director at national estate agency network Your Move, who has 20 years of experience in the property sector.
Sohail Rashid commented: “Property Network is shaking up a market that is crying out for change. We are the property network for the social media generation and this funding will enable us to challenge the dominant position of more established players. In 2012 we proved that our service has the right mix of user friendly functionality and commercial appeal for agents.”
Property Network uses Facebook data to source the most appropriate home for a user’s work and lifestyle by, for example, showing properties in close proximity to their office, local gym, or favourite bars and restaurants. The platform then allows users to easily share details with their friends and family. This represents a new and highly effective marketing tool for property professionals.
Ingenious Ventures has invested £750,000 of the Media Opportunities Fund in Digital Theatre, which films live theatrical productions that consumers around the world can then download or stream online.
Based in London and founded by experienced media executives Robert Delamere and Tom Shaw, Digital Theatre works in partnership with some of Britain’s leading theatre companies to film live performances authentically onscreen. Using multiple camera angles and high-definition technology, the company brings a growing number of mainstream productions to a global online audience.
Robert Delamere, Co-Founder and CEO, commented: “Services such as Netflix and Hulu demonstrate that audiences are willing to consume audio-visual content online. We also know that the West End is in fantastic shape: the box office has grown for the eighth consecutive year, with 13.9m people visiting in 2011, the latest year for which figures are available. There is a huge market for this product.”
Digital Theatre has filmed 14 productions in front of live audiences since March 2009. It has partnered with theatre companies including the Almeida Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company, and has captured the talents of actors including David Tennant, Toby Jones, David Suchet and Zoë Wanamaker, as well as the works of Thomas Hardy and Henrik Ibsen, alongside modern talents such as Abi Morgan.
Digital Theatre’s business model utilises a number of revenue streams. The core business is online rentals and downloads. This product is ideal for theatre lovers who cannot get to London’s West End because of distance or cost; a quarter of users are already based outside the UK. The company also distributes third party content – the first deal of this kind has recently been signed with Shakespeare’s Globe. In addition, Digital Theatre Plus offers subscription access for schools and universities worldwide. Further revenues are anticipated to come from overseas franchises, broadcast opportunities and screenings.
Patrick McKenna, Chief Executive of Ingenious, has joined the board of Digital Theatre and recently made a personal investment of £250,000 into the company. He commented: “As well as being an exciting commercial investment, this is a cultural investment. Digital Theatre is in the business of distributing – and exporting – a thriving aspect of Britain’s creative industries to as broad an audience as possible.”
For more information, please visit: www.digitaltheatre.com
Patrick Bradley, Chief Executive of Ingenious Ventures, commented: “Both Digital Theatre and Property Network are perfect examples of the companies we look to invest in – early stage businesses, operating in high growth markets with strongly differentiated offerings and highly capable management teams. We look forward to working with them to help develop their businesses and realise their full potential.”
The Media Opportunities Fund
Ingenious Ventures is currently raising funds for its second Media Opportunities Fund which is due to close on 5 April 2013. Interested parties should contact their IFA or Siobhan Griffin at Ingenious on 020 7319 4000 for further information.
Ingenious is a market-leading financial services group providing investment and advisory expertise operating through four divisions. Ingenious is one of the leading investors in the UK’s creative industries and was founded by its Chief Executive, Patrick McKenna in 1998.
Ingenious Ventures is the private equity division of Ingenious.
Ingenious Investments offers a range of alternative investments spanning media and entertainment, sport and leisure and clean energy.
Ingenious Asset Management Limited provides discretionary investment management and innovative solutions to the private investor.
Ingenious Corporate Finance provides comprehensive advice on strategy across a wide range of transactions focusing particularly on the media, entertainment and communications sectors.