Wheelhouse Entertainment, the talent and content venture launched last year by Brent Montgomery, has secured an investment and partnership deal with San Francisco- and Los Angeles-based digital content studio Portal A.
Under the deal, Wheelhouse will exploit its large-scale production capabilities, industry relationships and talent roster in an attempt to boost Portal A’s youth-driven original content geared toward a millennial audience.
The two companies will also offer their combined resources to traditional and new media platforms, and to brands, CMOs and ad agencies.
Portal A was founded in 2008 by Nate Houghteling, Kai Hasson and Zach Blume, and has not previously taken on an outside investor since the shop opened its doors 10 years ago. The digital content firm works with a new generation of emerging talent to develop, produce and distribute award-winning branded and original content.
Portal A has previously produced original series with streaming platforms such as YouTube Originals, Crunchyroll and Disney Digital. The studio’s portfolio of content and original series has generated more than one billion views, which has seen revenues explode by 500% since 2013, according to a press release.
The company’s client roster currently includes Google, Clorox, HBO, Warner Bros, Lenovo, Amazon, Lyft, YouTube, Universal Pictures and P&G, among others.
“Having looked seriously at a lot of digital companies, Portal A is a unicorn; their success is driven by the trifecta of client service, exquisite creative and unique culture – and they run a profitable business, which is rare in the wild west of digital,” said Montgomery in a statement. “Together, we will develop an aggressive plan for growth for these incredible content creators who can work at a high level with brands, as well as with talent that can evolve into brands. It’s exactly the kind of investment and partnership that drove me to create Wheelhouse. And while those of us who hail from the TV world are psyched to get millions of impressions, the work these guys make reaches billions. Portal A is the first significant piece of a much larger marketing play for Wheelhouse.”
Wheelhouse was established in January of 2018, after Montgomery left his post as CEO of ITV America. At the time of launch, it was described as a venture that would create talent-driven partnerships as well as create and invest in “360 businesses”, while also creating content and marketing opportunities for various platforms and companies. The company’s investment in Portal A follows the November announcement that it had partnered with comedian, writer, producer and late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel to establish Kimmelot, a “creative lab” operating in the unscripted, scripted, mobile and digital spaces.
With files from Fred Blichert