Hollywood money continues to pour into YouTube.
Evolution Media Growth Partners, the investing arm of the CAA-affiliated bank Evolution Media Capital, has made a multi-million dollar investment in Base79, the largest network of YouTube channels in the Europe, Middle East and Asia.
Base79 did not disclose the exact size of the investment in its announcement. Base79 previously raised a reported $10 million in November from The Chernin Group, which earned a stake in the company somewhere between 20 and 30 percent.
Founded by Ashley MacKenzie (left), Base79 began by using proprietary technology to flag clips of soccer matches uploaded to YouTube. The channel then offers the leagues the option of removing or monetizing the clips, enriching both parties.
The company quickly expanded to tracking clips of sporting events, music and other forms of entertainment, managing online video content from more than 400 partners, including the BBC, IMG Media and electronic music record label Ministry of Sound.
When YouTube opted to fund 60 partner channels in Europe, Base79 secured five of those grants – one in soccer, one in action sports, one in British Comedy another entertainment one and one in motor sports.
Its network of 800 channels now generates more than 650 million views a month.
This new investment will be used to invest in more technology and accelerate the creation of YouTube channels the company both owns and operates – as opposed to partners’ channels.
The money will also be used to support and further the company’s international expansion. One of the few channels of its size outside of the United States, base79 has offices in London, Sydney, Los Angeles, Paris, Madrid and Berlin.
EMGP is a joint venture operated by Evolution Media Capital and TPG Capital, the private equity firm that owns a minority stake in the talent agency. EMC is a CAA-backed bank that specializes in media and sports. Evolution and TPG formed EMGP at the start of the year and promised to invest at least $100 million in nascent companies.
"We’re honoured to receive this additional investment from Evolution Media Growth Partners, and support from Creative Artists Agency, the premier entertainment and sports agency," MacKenzie said in a statement. "Alongside equity partner The Chernin Group and MMC Ventures in the UK, we have attracted powerful partners across sports, entertainment and broadcasting industries. It puts us in an enviable position to attract global talent for our offering."