Skydance Media Completes $400 Million Funding Round Led By New Investor KKR, Values Company At Over $4 Billion
Skydance Media said today it’s completed a $400 million strategic investment round led by KKR, a first-time investor, and joined by the Ellison family, who remain majority shareholders. Existing investors RedBird Capital Partners and Tencent also participated in the fundraise, which values Skydance at over $4 billion.
Adding KKR helps solidify the company’s position and will accelerate its ongoing growth in sports and interactive entertainment as well as continued scaling of existing verticals like animation.
“The investment from KKR creates a powerful strategic partnership with a firm at the forefront of the evolution of technology and interactive entertainment, all of which are key propellers in the next phase of Skydance growth,” said CEO David Ellison. “We are incredibly grateful for the ongoing support of our long-term strategic investors – RedBird, who has championed our sports strategy, as well as Tencent and CJ ENM, who have each helped to drive our global growth and diversification,” he added.
Skydance is focused on a cross-platform approach to IP creation, ownership and distribution combined with deep relationships with content, talent and tech partners to bolstered scalability and earnings potential. Successful entertainment franchises include its recent record-setting release of Top Gun: Maverick. Skydance content consistently overperforms on streamers including chart-topping results on Amazon, Apple and Netflix.
Jenny Box, KKR partner and co-head of its Strategic Investments Group, said the firm is “delighted to invest behind Skydance, David Ellison and the impressive, differentiated team of creative and entrepreneurial talent he has assembled.”
“We look forward supporting the Skydance team as they continue to build their business across TV, film, animation, gaming and sports and tell compelling stories in new and innovative ways,” added Ted Oberwager, KKR partner and head of gaming, entertainment, media and sports verticals.
KKR assets have included Axel Springer, ByteDance, Chord Music Partners, Epic Games, FanDuel Group, Leonine Studios, Mediawan, OverDrive, PlayOn! Sports, RBmedia and UFC.
Skydance was founded by Ellison in 2010, starting with feature films and expanding to television, interactive, animation, new media and sports, with studios in Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Spain and Canada.
Films include The Adam Project on Netflix, The Tomorrow War on Amazon Prime Video and The Old Guard, also on Netflix.
Its slate includes The Greatest Beer Run Ever, the upcoming Ghosted, The Family Plan for Apple TV+; Heart of Stone, The Old Guard 2 and a reboot of the Spy Kids film franchise for Netflix; and the seventh and eighth installments of the Mission: Impossible global franchise. Skydance films have earned more than $7 billion at the worldwide box office.
Skydance Television is behind Grace and Frankie, which became Netflix’s longest running series following the release of its final season earlier this year, as well as Foundation, Reacher, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Condor, The Big Door Prize and an untitled spy series starring Arnold Schwarzenegger in his first ever scripted television series.
Skydance Interactive creates and publishes original and IP-based virtual reality and other immersive video games including the top-selling The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners.
Skydance Sports is currently in production on two projects for Amazon Prime Video: the docuseries Good Neighbors and an untitled Air Jordan film starring Ben Affleck and Matt Damon and directed by Affleck.
And Skydance Animation develops and produces high-end feature films and television series with full production capability across two studios in Los Angeles and Madrid. The first two slated movies are Luck and Spellbound, the first short film is Blush, and the first series is Wondla, all premiering on Apple TV+.