The Chernin Group Acquires Majority Stake in Crunchyroll, the Leading Global Video Streaming Service for Anime Content
LOS ANGELES, CA – December 2, 2013 – The Chernin Group (“TCG”), which manages and invests in businesses in the media, entertainment and technology sectors globally, today announced it has acquired a majority stake in Crunchyroll, Inc., the leading global video streaming service for anime content. The Company’s senior management will maintain a significant stake in the Company along with existing investor TV TOKYO. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in 2007 and based in San Francisco, CA, with an office in Tokyo, Japan, Crunchyroll has built the world’s premier over-the-top video service for Japanese anime content and one of the leading OTT and SVOD platforms online. Crunchyroll features both a free, ad-supported online video offering as well as a subscription online video service to a targeted and passionate fan base in more than 160 countries. The Company delivers new and library content from leading Japanese studios and broadcasters directly to viewers outside of Japan across online and mobile platforms and multiple devices such as desktops, mobile phones, tablets, connected TVs and consoles, including PlayStation®, Apple TV, Xbox and Roku®. By expanding Crunchyroll’s rich content offering into new markets and onto new devices, the Company has sustained and increased viewership, more than doubling its subscriber base within the last year. Beyond online video, Crunchyroll provides a deep experience for anime fans by offering e-commerce, news, community features and a newly launched free and premium digital manga offering. TCG intends to work with Crunchyroll and its management team both to grow the existing anime business and to use Crunchyroll as a platform to launch new non-anime channels across multiple different genres.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Crunchyroll,” said Peter Chernin, Founder & CEO of TCG. “The Crunchyroll founders and senior management team have accomplished two incredible things. One, they have built one of the leading online video companies in the industry. And, two they have created the best and largest community for anime video in the world. We couldn't be more excited about the future. Our plan is to continue to grow the anime vertical as well as launch new channels in different genres. Online video is growing faster than any other sector within media, and we feel that with Crunchyroll, we have a fantastic, anchor platform."
Kun Gao, Founder and CEO of Crunchyroll, said, “TCG is the perfect partner for us. We decided to work with TCG based on their passion for the online video space, expertise in media, understanding of creative content and strong track-record of growing businesses. Anime is at the heart of our company – We love anime, supporting the growing anime community and working to provide the best entertainment to its fans. This investment from TCG will allow us to provide an even better experience and service for anime producers and fans worldwide.”
Yukio Kawasaki, General Manager of the Animation Division of TV TOKYO, said, “We have had a phenomenal relationship with Crunchyroll dating back to 2009 as both a content provider and an investor. Crunchyroll has opened up new markets and revenue streams to us. We welcome The Chernin Group to the Crunchyroll family and look forward to working with them and Crunchyroll management to continue this fantastic ride.”
About The Chernin Group
The Chernin Group, LLC (TCG) is a privately held, independent media holding company founded by Peter Chernin and based in Los Angeles, CA. TCG has built, managed, operated and invested in businesses in the media, entertainment and technology sectors around the world since 2010. TCG's assets include Chernin Entertainment, which produces feature films and television programs; a majority stake in Hong Kong-based CA Media, which builds, manages and operates media, entertainment and technology businesses across Asia; and several strategic investments in digital media companies, which have included Pandora, Fullscreen, Base79, MiTú, Tumblr, Flipboard and Scopely. Providence Equity Partners LLC; Qatar Holding LLC; Victor Koo (founder and CEO of Youku) and Chengwei Capital; and other shareholders are strategic partners of and investors in TCG.
About Crunchyroll, Inc.
Crunchyroll is a leading global destination and platform for Japanese anime and Asian content. Through applications including Crunchyroll for iPhone, iPad, Android, Playstation®3, Playstation®4, Xbox LIVE®, AppleTV, Roku, Internet-enabled TVs, set-top boxes, affiliate websites and its own streaming website, Crunchyroll delivers more than 25,000 episodes and 15,000 hours of officially-licensed content from leading Asian media producers direct to viewers translated professionally in multiple languages within minutes of TV broadcast. Crunchyroll has offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Tokyo, and is a member of the Association of Japanese Animations (AJA) and Licensing International Merchandisers' Association (LIMA). More information about the company can be found at www.crunchyroll.com.
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