Bellrock rings in backers
Intel and Japan’s Yoshimoto Kogyo are among the backers of Bellrock Media, a digital media venture being launched by Hiroshi Nakata and Peter Levin.Santa Monica, Calif.-based Bellrock sees itself as a producer and investor in new-media content designed for delivery via mobile and broadband platforms. “Bellrock is a unique blend of strategic and resourceful partners from the worlds of media and technology,” Nakata said. Bellrock starts life with financial backing understood to be in the low- to mid-eight figures. Other founding shareholders are broadband content distributor Fandango, ringtone specialist Faith and Japanese investment vehicles AC Capital and C.S. Loginet. Levin, who was once Michael Ovitz’s tech topper at Lynx Technologies, will quit Quattro Media, the management, production and marketing firm he co-founded in 2004, to head the new enterprise as prexy. Nakata who is chief corporate strategist for Yoshimoto Kogyo, Japan’s largest talent management agent and the leading TV production firm, is the new company’s CEO. “In the medium term of two years from now we expect Bellrock to be a fully functioning next generation content company producing, distributing, financing and co-financing content for platforms including mobile, broadband and PSP (PlayStation Portable),” Levin said. “The model for this really is Japan where people are making real money in this area. Faith gets paid pretty much every time you hear a ringtone.” Bellrock, which has already courted Hollywood’s talent agencies and studios, will also be able to call on Sedona Capital, a new fund headed by Nakata, to leverage its investments. One of the first deals likely to be struck is an investment in Quattro. “Our collaboration with Yoshimoto Kogyo and our investment in Bellrock Media demonstrate Intel’s commitment to working directly with content owners to achieve an amazing consumer experience,” said Kevin Corbett, veep of Intel’s Content Services Group.