Channel 4′s Indie Growth Fund and Sky have come together to co-invest in holding company Dial Square 86 Limited’s start-up, The RightsXchange (TRX), a global online-deal-making tool for TV rights.
The two companies are investing in Dial Square 86′s latest financing round, which will raise close to £5.2 million for TRX. Dial Square’s latest funding round also includes investment from private individuals who’ve been involved in previous rounds.
TRX provides TV rights buyers and sellers globally with an online platform to connect and complete licensing deals, allowing distributors to reach buyers in new international markets, who are then able to access British, American and other TV rights that were difficult to obtain beforehand. TRX had a soft launch in Asia in July and has since amassed over 5,000 hours of available programming from key U.K. and U.S. distributors and rights holders, including Discovery Communications, Sky Vision, All3Media International, Hat Trick International and Sesame Workshop. The platform has an advisory board full of key industry figures, including John McVay, CEO of PACT; Stephen Lambert, founder and CEO of Studio Lambert and Nadine Nohr, former CEO of Shine International.
“In post-Brexit Britain, it’s even more important for the UK’s creative industries to have access to innovative ways of trading across the globe,” said David Abraham, chief executive of Channel 4 in a statement. “We recognize that the new TRX tool is a valuable online resource which will enable indies to connect with the world and export their programs in a digital marketplace and will help support a buoyant UK indie sector well into the future.”
“This latest investment reflects our ambition to partner with pioneering start-ups that can help transform the TV landscape,” added Emma Lloyd, group business development director at Sky. “Together with Channel 4, we can help TRX to grow the TV rights market, which will benefit everyone in the industry.”
The deal with Channel 4 and Sky will not only see the pair bolster funding for TRX, but also each company take an undisclosed minority stake in Dial Square 86, which was founded in 2014 by former RDF Media founders and Zodiak Media execs David and Matthew Frank. The deal marks the first time the two media companies have come together to invest in a start-up, and is the latest digital business venture for Channel 4′s Indie Growth Fund. For Sky’s part, its production and distribution arm, Sky Vision, will also use TRX and help develop its suite of enterprise tools to grow the TV rights market.