×

Chernin Group Takes Majority Stake in Anime Website Crunchyroll

The Chernin Group, the media company headed by former News Corp. exec Peter Chernin, announced Monday it has acquired a majority stake in anime video-streaming site Crunchyroll — which TCG will use as an anchor to expand into different genres.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but sources said the investment values Crunchyroll at less than $100 million. Chernin Group had been in discussions for the last several weeks to acquire a controlling stake Crunchyroll, as previously reported by Variety.

Crunchyroll’s senior management will maintain a stake in the company along with existing investor TV Tokyo, a Japanese media company. Crunchyroll has offices in San Francisco, L.A. and Tokyo, and has nearly 300,000 paying subscribers for its video-on-demand service.

“We couldn’t be more excited about the future,” Peter Chernin said in a statement. “Our plan is to continue to grow the anime vertical as well as launch new channels in different genres. Online video is growing faster than any other sector within media, and we feel that with Crunchyroll, we have a fantastic, anchor platform.”

Kun Gao, founder and CEO of Crunchyroll, called Chernin Group the perfect partner. “We decided to work with TCG based on their passion for the online video space, expertise in media, understanding of creative content and strong track record of growing businesses,” Gao said in a prepared statement. “This investment from TCG will allow us to provide an even better experience and service for anime producers and fans worldwide.”

Crunchyroll raised $4.05 million in first-round funding in 2008 from TV Tokyo and other investors including Venrock, the venture-capital arm of the Rockefeller family. “We welcome The Chernin Group to the Crunchyroll family and look forward to working with them and Crunchyroll management to continue this fantastic ride,” Yukio Kawasaki, general manager of the animation division of TV Tokyo, said in a statement.

Chernin Group’s assets include Chernin Entertainment, which produces feature films and TV programs; a majority stake in Hong Kong-based media and entertainment company CA Media; and several strategic investments in digital media companies, which have included Pandora, Fullscreen, Base79, MiTú, Tumblr, Flipboard and Scopely.

Currently, Crunchyroll hosts more than 25,000 episodes and 15,000 hours of anime, Korean drama and live-action titles licensed from top Asian media producers, translated into multiple languages. The service is available on Crunchyroll.com and other platforms including iPhone, iPad, Android, Apple TV, PlayStation3, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Roku.

More Digital

  • Apple Plans to Fund Podcast Exclusives:

    Apple Reportedly Plans to Fund Original Podcasts

    Apple has plans to open its checkbooks for podcasts that would be exclusive to its podcasting apps, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. The investments would help the company defend its market leadership in an increasingly crowded field, and fend off competitors like Spotify, Pandora and Luminary. News of the plans sent Spotify’s stock down more than 3%; [...]

  • LiveXLive Names AOL and MTV Vet

    LiveXLive Names AOL and MTV Vet Dermot McCormack President

    Live entertainment digital media company LiveXLive Media today announced that AOL and MTV veteran Dermot McCormack has been named president of the company. According to the announcement, McCormack will lead the business and creative operations of LiveXLive, effective immediately. McCormack previously served as AOL’s Global President of Video and Studios, where he oversaw the video [...]

  • Recording Studio

    Cloud-Based Music Mastering Platform Landr Raises $26 Million

    Cloud-based music mastering and distribution platform Landr has raised a $26 million Series B round of funding. The new founding round was led by the Sony Innovation Fund, microphone manufacturer Shure, state-owned financing corporation Investissement Québec and Fonds de solidarité FTQ. Warner Music, Plus Eight Equity Partners, Slaight Communications, YUL Ventures and PEAK Capital Partners [...]

  • NBC News - Quibi

    NBC News to Produce Two Daily Shows for Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Quibi

    NBC News has joined Quibi’s ambitious bid to build a mobile subscription TV service. NBCUniversal’s news division plans to build a custom set at 30 Rock where it will produce daily morning and evening newscasts, seven days per week, for Quibi, the well-funded mobile video startup from chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman. The [...]

  • patreon logo

    Patreon Raises $60 Million in New Funding

    Membership services startup Patreon just got a major cash infusion: The company announced Tuesday that it has raised a $60 million Series D round of funding led by Glade Brook Capital. Existing investors Thrive Capital, Initialized, Index Ventures, DFJ, Freestyle Capital, Charles River Ventures and Otherwise participated in the funding round as well, which brings [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content