Pan-European satcaster Sky has increased its minority stake in TRX, Dial Square 86′s digital deal-making tool for television rights, with a further investment of £1 million (US$1.3 million).
Sky had been among a number of companies and angel investors to invest in the start-up last August, which raised £5.2 million in that round of funding. Sky had initially partnered with Channel 4′s Indie Growth Fund to pour £1 million into TRX at the time.
The latest cash injection from Sky now brings TRX’s total funds raised to date to £10 million (US$13 million).
Launched by former Zodiak Media bosses David Frank (pictured, left) and Matthew Frank (right) in 2015, 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.
Currently in beta-testing, TRX has a stable of more than 60 international distributors – including Sky Vision, the production and distribution arm of Sky – and 300-plus buyers.
Additional key U.K. and U.S. distributors and rights holders with titles available for license through the service include Discovery Communications, 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.
“Sky spends £6 billion annually on content. As we build a thriving production and distribution business in Sky Vision, and increase our investment in Sky Original Productions, international sales are becoming ever-more important,” said Emma Lloyd, group director of business development & strategic partnerships at Sky, in a statement. “TRX is an exciting business for us to be invested in and we look forward to working with them as they expand globally.”
“Sky is at the vanguard of investing in disruptive start-ups in the technology and media space,” added TRX’s David Frank. “We are extremely pleased that it has decided to double its financial commitment to TRX. This investment will help drive our global roll out in autumn 2017.”