Skydance Media has secured 0 million in funding from a strategic investment round led by investment company KKR with previous backers the Ellison family, Redbird Capital Partners, and Tencent also contributing.
- One of the objectives of this round of funding was to expand the company’s animation efforts, helmed by former Pixar and Disney executive John Lasseter. The company released its first feature, Luck, this summer, and plans to release two animated features per year in the near future. Skydance Animation currently employs 900 professionals worldwide and is launching a 5.8-acre Santa Monica campus this month. The campus is expected to be completed by November 2023.
- “The capital raise and access to the expertise and global network of KKR will also help accelerate Skydance’s growth initiatives in sports and interactive entertainment, as well as the continued scaling of existing verticals such as animation,” reads the Skydance release explaining the objectives of this investment round.
- Skydance Media is now valued at over $4 billion by stakeholders, a significant jump from just two years ago when Korea’s CJ ENM, producers of Parasite, took a minority stake in the company. In February 2020, stakeholders valued the company at $2.3 billion.
- Skydance CEO David Ellison once again dipped into the deep pockets of his family with this round of funding, and the Ellison family will continue to hold a majority share of Skydance Media. Ellison’s father is billionaire Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle and currently the seventh-richest person on the planet. David Ellison’s sister is Megan Ellison, founder of Annapurna Pictures.
- Founded in 2010, Skydance moved into the world of animation by launching Skydance Interactive after buying developer The Workshop in 2016. The branch was established to utilize Skydance IP to carve out a niche in the gaming and vr spaces.
- Skydance took its biggest step into the world of film and tv animation when it signed a multi-year partnership with Madrid-based Ilion back in 2017. Skydance acquired Ilion outright, rebranding the studio as Skydance Animation Madrid, in April 2020.