Skydance soars with $400 million investment
The Future. Skydance Media is expanding its entertainment reach with $400 million in new financing. With the new Big-Tech Hollywood players providing countless ways to reach audiences, Skydance may be one of the best-positioned companies to turn any story into a franchisable IP.
Riding high on Top Gun
Skydance is launching in several different directions with some fresh money in the tank.
- THR reports that the studio nabbed $400 million in funding from investors, including KKR, RedBird Capital, Tencent, and majority owner the Ellison family (founder and CEO David Ellison is the son of Oracle founder Larry Ellison).
- That values Skydance at a massive $4 billion valuation — up from $2.3 billion three years ago when it last raised funds.
- It’ll use that money to expand its animation division led by John Lasseter (the former creative head of Pixar), fuel its new sports-content division, and bolster its interactive division (which consists of a AAA gaming arm and a VR-gaming arm).
Skydance’s marquee moneymakers are still its blockbuster-focused film and TV divisions. The company has a rich deal with Apple Original Films (and a major hit in the $1.4 billion grosser Top Gun: Maverick) while producing hits like Jack Ryan at Amazon Prime Video and Grace and Frankie at Netflix.
Scope and scale
The financing is another example of the hunger private equity firms have in investing in major production companies that are content pipelines for the streamers.
The creation of new super companies like the Blackstone-backed Candle Media and the Apollo-and-Providence-backed The North Road Company (run by Peter Chernin) shows that everyone wants a piece of those sweet streaming payouts.
And with Village Roadshow, Plan B, Imagine Entertainment, and Neon all putting up For Sale signs, the dealmaking shows no signs of slowing down.