Raine Group closes Fund II on $850 mln

The Raine Group has closed on $850 million for Raine Partners II, a growth equity vehicle that beat its $750 million target. The fund focuses on growth investments in digital, media and entertainment and sports and lifestyle companies. Fund II has completed investments in consumer licensing company Margaritaville and fantasy sports business DraftKings. Raine also has hired Tom Freston, founder of entertainment investment and consultancy group, as senior advisor.

Press Release

The Raine Group, a global merchant bank focused exclusively on technology, media and telecommunications, today announced that it has completed fundraising for Raine Partners II (“RPII”), its second growth equity fund. The fund closed at $850 million, exceeding its initial target of $750 million. RPII follows on the success of Raine Partners I (“RPI”), the firm’s first growth fund, which closed in October 2011 and has invested over $400 million across 12 portfolio companies. Raine’s investment platform also includes a venture fund and hedge fund.

“We are delighted to announce the close of our second growth equity fund and are extremely thankful for the support of our limited partners, many of whom have been investing with us since the launch of our first fund four years ago,” said Brandon Gardner, President and Chief Operating Officer of Raine. “We continue to see significant momentum across our portfolio companies and believe we are well-positioned with our global team, strong network of partners and senior advisors, and available capital.”

RPII will pursue the same investment strategy as RPI, focusing on growth investments in leading digital, media and entertainment, and sports and lifestyle companies. The new fund completed its first investment in leading consumer licensing company, Margaritaville, last summer and more recently invested in fast-growing fantasy sports leader DraftKings.

In addition, the firm announced the appointment of entertainment industry executive Tom Freston as Senior Advisor. An industry veteran with decades of experience and a track record of spotting and nurturing creative talent, Mr. Freston is the founder of Firefly3, a media and entertainment industry-focused investment and consultancy firm. Prior to that, he was Chief Executive Officer of Viacom Inc. In addition, Freston was a founder of MTV and led MTV Networks Group for 18 years as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Freston currently serves on the boards of DreamWorks Animation, Moby Media, and Vice Media and is Board Chair of the ONE Campaign, an advocacy organization aimed at fighting extreme poverty.

“I’m no stranger to Raine and have watched them build a great and interesting portfolio of companies, as well as a deep and very effective network of contacts. They’re a first rate team and I’m thrilled to take on a more involved role with them,” said Mr. Freston.

Freston is one of several Senior Advisors that Raine has engaged to work with its portfolio companies over the past several years. Other Senior Advisors include former Demand Media CEO Richard Rosenblatt, former NFL Network CEO Steve Bornstein, digital media entrepreneur Mika Salmi and Eva Jeanbart-Lorenzotti, founder and CEO of luxury goods retailer, Vivre.

Raine’s growth equity investments include South Park creators’ Important Studios, multimedia producer Vice Media, fitness and lifestyle brand Zumba, and the action sports company Nitro Circus. Venture capital investments include digital lifestyle network Tastemade, social TV platform Whipclip, and mobile game developer Super Evil Megacorp.

Raine also provides a wide range of investment banking advisory services across TMT, with recent deals including Steve Ballmer’s acquisition of the Los Angeles Clippers, the sale of STATS by Fox and the Associated Press, the launch of film and television studio STX Entertainment, and Softbank’s acquisition of Brightstar.

Raine opened a London office last fall after music industry veteran Fred Davis joined the firm as a partner. Mr. Davis will help spearhead the firm’s efforts in Europe. The firm’s global network also includes offices in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Shanghai.

About The Raine Group

The Raine Group is a global merchant bank focused exclusively on technology, media, and telecommunications. Raine has in excess of $1.5 billion in assets under management. The firm has offices in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, and Shanghai. With a global reach, Raine focuses on investment and advisory opportunities where its deep industry experience and unique network of strategic relationships can create value for portfolio companies and clients. For more information visit http://www.raine.com/.