Edge Investments Backs Online TV rights licensing platform TRX
Edge Investments (‘Edge’) has taken a minority stake in Dial Square 86 Ltd, the holding company for The RightsXchange Ltd (‘TRX’).
Edge Investments (‘Edge’), the specialist investment house focused on the creative industries sector, in particular media and entertainment, has taken a minority stake in Dial Square 86 Ltd, the holding company for The RightsXchange Ltd (‘TRX’).
TRX is an online deal-making platform for TV rights licensing. It enables TV programme buyers to search for content, access instant rights availabilities, negotiate a deal and sign the contract entirely online. Presently transactions in this market happen offline and person-to-person, leading to long deal times and operational inefficiencies. TRX is bringing established marketplace technology to the global secondary TV rights export market, estimated to be worth in excess of $5bn per annum
Founded by TV rights entrepreneurs David Frank and Matthew Frank in 2015, TRX is backed by Sky Ventures and the Channel 4 Growth Fund, both of which are minority shareholders. TRX has spent the past two years developing the core product, and went into live beta in August 2016, having already achieved significant traction with international rights holders. There are over 350 buyers and sellers using TRX including Discovery Communications, Turner Broadcasting, All3Media International and Sky Vision.
David Glick, CEO of Edge, said:
“The launch of TRX is a genuine game-changer for television rights licensing. At Edge we have invested in TV production and content creation over many years and this one of the most exciting innovations that we have witnessed, as an investment team. I am pleased to support our Edge Investment Manager, Jo Smith, as she leads our involvement in this transaction.”
Edge Investment Manager, Jo Smith, added:
“TRX is a really exciting business: it is the only platform that offers sellers and buyers the means to close deals entirely online from start to finish. Buying and selling TV rights has historically been unnecessarily complicated and inefficient: From our first conversation with management we at Edge were hugely impressed by the high-calibre management team who, we believe, are perfectly placed to change the way deals take place, bringing a much needed transformation to the secondary TV rights market, whether that is content producers/owners, broadcasters or distributors.”
David Frank, TRX Executive Chairman, said:
“We are absolutely delighted that Edge Investments has decided to back TRX and our vision to transform the TV rights market. This investment will help drive our global rollout later this month. We have been emboldened by the positive response to our beta-test and will be taking a whole raft of new features to market, helping TV rights executives close more deals, more easily.”
Edge Investments 020 7317 1300
Maitland 020 7379 5151
Rachel Davidson 07714499709
Edge Investments is one of the UK’s most dynamic and innovative specialist investors in the creative industries. Since its launch in 2006 it has raised approaching £200m. In November 2015 Edge launched the Edge Creative Enterprise Fund, a £40 million fund with backing from the British Business Bank.
Recent investments have included Newsflare, the leading open video platform and fast growing British media technology company (December 2016); audioBoom the spoken word audio platform for hosting, distributing and monetising content (April 2017); and Antidote, an independent, factual TV production company, working with major UK and international broadcasters (June 2017).
Edge’s previous investments have included live events featuring major international music performers; children’s entertainment through Coolabi (The Clangers, Beast Quest, Poppy Cat, Screamstreet and Warriors); native in-video advertising (Mirriad) and games analytics (deltaDNA).
Core to Edge’s approach is its experienced team of creative industries and investment professionals. Its investment team includes Edge Investments’ CEO and renowned industry deal-maker David Glick, experienced VC technology and creative industries investor David Fisher, private equity veteran Steve Carle, Joanna Smith, formerly Corporate Development manager at Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund, Gordon Power, former CEO of ProVen, Charles Miller Smith, former Unilever director, CEO and chairman of ICI and Harvey Goldsmith, one of the UK’s best known music industry impresarios.
Individually and collectively, the Edge team has been investing in venture capital since 1984 across 11 separate funds and has achieved a combined venture capital IRR in excess of 30%.
TRX is the simple, fast and efficient way to buy and sell secondary TV and video rights all online. TRX facilitates the entire transaction process from viewing available rights to signing a licensing agreement. Rights holders can exploit their full catalogue with minimal effort and shortened deal times, cost-effectively trading with international buyers. Broadcasters can acquire rights from multiple rights holders in a single destination, 24/7. Both benefit from reduced administration burdens enabled by TRX’s centralised and streamlined online transaction process.
TRX is headed up by experienced entrepreneurs and seasoned TV distribution executives Matthew Frank, CEO and David Frank, Executive Chairman. It is focused on TV and video rights, can work with any TV rights management system and does not charge subscription fees to either buyers or sellers.
TRX will work in partnership with distributors and broadcasters, delivering significant advantages (and incremental income) to the distribution industry through the application of marketplace technology already widespread in its use outside of the TV sector. The technology behind the TRX platform has been developed by TRX and a team at Mint Digital, a digital product development company. The TRX platform has been built and is launching worldwide (following a successful beta test with selected market participants) on October 9th 2017. At launch TRX will have over 15,000 hours of content available from over 75 distributors and over 500 buyers registered on the system.
TRX Executive Chairman is David Frank, and TRX CEO is Matthew Frank, both highly experienced entrepreneurs and TV distribution executives (founders in 1993 of RDF Media, sold for £150m in 2010). Most recently, David was CEO of Zodiak Media Group and Matthew was CEO of Zodiak Rights. Both began their careers in trading environments in the City (David in investment banking, Matthew in the commodities markets).
TRX is a 100% owned subsidiary of Dial Square 86, a holding company established in 2013 to identify disruption opportunities in the content markets. TRX is now the sole focus of Dial Square’s activities.