Crunchyroll and TV Tokyo Announce Strategic Investment
Japan's leading anime broadcaster and world's leading Asian media lifestyle brand expand industry-defining partnership with TV TOKYO's acquisition of minority stake in Crunchyroll for $750,000
March 25, 2010
San Francisco, Calif. and Tokyo, Japan – Crunchyroll, Inc., and TV TOKYO CORPORATION (TYO: 9411) announced today the expansion of their industry-defining content alliance and partnership with the February 2010 conclusion of a $750,000 strategic investment by TV TOKYO into Crunchyroll.
TV TOKYO will continue to provide Crunchyroll with content licenses for world-class Japanese entertainment, including hits like Naruto Shippuden, Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee, and many others, and Crunchyroll will continue to offer premium access to TV TOKYO content under its subscription plan one hour after its broadcast on TV TOKYO, and free access to TV TOKYO content one week after its broadcast on TV TOKYO. In addition, both TV TOKYO and Crunchyroll will continue to explore new business areas and work on mutually beneficial ways of developing TV TOKYO's rights business to a global audience.
TV TOKYO President and Co-CEO Masayuki Shimada said: “This investment fits with our three 'challenge goals' of cultivating new hits, developing our rights business, and discovering new revenue areas. Through Crunchyroll now more than ever before, we will be able to cultivate new programs to a worldwide audience, strategically plan a global rights business, and leverage Crunchyroll's innovation to discover new ways to generate revenue.”
Crunchyroll CEO and Co-Founder Kun Gao said: “Our vision is to create an ecosystem for all Japanese rights holders to export their content overseas, and TV TOKYO has taken a leadership position by being with us from day one. With this partnership, we formalize our already strong relationship with TV TOKYO and look forward to building a long-term business together. This is an historic moment for Crunchyroll, and this solidifies our commitment to bringing the best in Japanese anime to our millions of fans around the globe.”
There will be no change to Crunchyroll's corporate structure, strategic management or operations as a result of this strategic investment, but TV TOKYO will have shareholder rights as are customary to typical minority shareholders. Full terms of the investment agreement were not disclosed.
The February 2010 strategic investment from TV TOKYO is the first half of a Japanese strategic investment initiative, with negotiations currently underway with an undisclosed group of major Japanese book publishers for the second half. More details will be announced shortly on the other parties involved.
About Crunchyroll, Inc.
Crunchyroll is a leading global lifestyle and entertainment brand centered around all things Asian media and operator of the largest online community, video site and network of sites, services and devices for Japanese anime and Asian drama in the world. Content on Crunchyroll is provided by leading Asian media companies including TV TOKYO, Fuji Television, NHK Enterprises (NEP), Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation (YTV), Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS), Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), Shueisha, Kadokawa Pictures, Aniplex, Avex Entertainment, King Records, Happinet, d-rights, Bandai Channel, Toei Animation, Tai Seng and many others.
Crunchyroll was founded in June 2006 and has offices in both San Francisco and Tokyo. Crunchyroll is a pioneer and innovator in the Japanese content business and the only video service in the world to offer hit programs Naruto Shippuden, Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee and many others within one hour of their first Japanese broadcasts. Crunchyroll is a member of the Association of Japanese Animations (AJA) and Licensing International Merchandisers' Association (LIMA) and is funded by leading venture capital firm, Venrock, Japanese entertainment giant TV TOKYO, and a group of angel investors representing some of the brightest and most successful minds and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. More information can be found at http://www.crunchyroll.com
About TV TOKYO CORPORATION
TV TOKYO Corporation is a leading Japanese content producer and broadcaster with particular strength in animation, high-concept infotainment and business news. Many of its programs are licensed by TV Tokyo Medianet Inc. (its distribution arm) to non-affiliate local stations as well as overseas broadcasters and distributors. TV TOKYO has been the home of the hit animation series such as “Naruto”, “Yu-Gi-Oh!”, “Shaman King”, “Pokémon”, “Sonic X” and “Beyblade”.
Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
The statements made in this press release that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements." These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties. The Company cautions readers of this press release that a number of important factors could cause actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in any such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, without limitation, product delays, industry competition, rapid changes in technology and industry standards, protection of proprietary rights, maintenance of relationships with key personnel, vendors and third-party developers, international economic and political conditions. The companies may change their intentions, beliefs or expectations, at any time and without notice, based upon any changes in such factors, in the companies' assumptions or otherwise. The companies undertake no obligation to release publicly any revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.