Blowtorch Raises $50 Million

Blowtorch Entertainment, a Tiburon, Calif.-based developer of entertainment content for a youth audience, has raised $50 million in first-round funding led by Ignition Partners. The company plans to utilize multiple distribution streams, including online, theater and DVD.



Blowtorch Entertainment, a new media company focused on the youth audience that will produce feature-length films, professional-grade shorts, mobile offerings, an online social community and live events, announced on Friday that it has secured more than $50 million in initial funding, including an equity investment from Ignition Partners.

The company's management team includes CEO and co-founder Kelly Rodriques, former founder and CEO of interactive ad agency Novo; co-founder and EVP of business development Dominic Ianno, formerly with Artisan Entertainment and Sony Music Online Ventures; and other veterans from entertainment and advertising firms.

Blowtorch says that its online community will help create and influence the content the company produces.

The company's first film, “You Are Here,” was produced by Blowtorch board member Paul Schiff, and is slated for theatrical release in the spring of 2008.

Blowtorch plans to distribute its own films and is in negotiations with theater owners; the company also signed with Vivendi Visual Entertainment to distribute its films on DVD.

“Everything Blowtorch does is focused on the 18- to 24-year-old market, from creating and distributing content to developing branded entertainment and selecting venues for live events, and Blowtorch is doing this with maniacal focus,” said Renetta McCann, worldwide CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group and a member of Blowtorch's board of directors.

Blowtorch said the investment will enable it to launch a three-year stream of feature films and short-form content, as well as to build the online community.