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AMC Networks Leads Adaptive Studios $16.5 Million Funding Round

Adaptive Studios, an upstart studio that has focused on short-form content for digital platforms, has closed a $16.5 million Series B round of funding, led by AMC Networks with participation from Atwater Capital.

The funding brings Adaptive Studios to $24.9 million raised to date. The Culver City, Calif.-based company was founded in 2012 by producers Perrin Chiles, TJ Barrack and Marc Joubert (pictured above). Adaptive Studios is best known as the production company behind HBO’s 2015 reboot of reality show “Project Greenlight” from Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.

With the funding from AMC and Atwater Capital, Adaptive Studios plans to to diversify its slate aimed at traditional distributors as well as expanding its development of content for streaming and emerging platforms.

“Having AMC and Atwater in the mix both strategically and financially is a huge win for what we’re trying to do,” said Adaptive Studios CEO Perrin Chiles. He declined to comment on the company’s valuation but said the Series B was an up round. Chiles added that AMC’s investment doesn’t give the cable programmer any first-look or exclusive rights to Adaptive projects.

For AMC, Adaptive Studios represents an opportunity to expand further into short-form storytelling formats, said COO Ed Carroll. “With Adaptive, we view their approach as opportunistic and aggressive,” he said. Last year, he noted, AMC took a minority stake in Funny Or Die.

Adaptive Studios has partnered with Shudder, AMC’s horror video-subscription service, to launch the Real Fear Horror contest. The program granted 10 finalists a five-day workshop working with director Clive Barker to produce their projects, which will be featured on Shudder.

AMC Networks also operates the SundanceNow over-the-top service and AMC Premiere, a commercial-free subscription service offered as an option to pay-TV subscribers. “As we expand our content onto different platforms, we do entertain the idea of complementing that with innovative storytelling, both short and long form,” Carroll said.

Atwater Capital’s funding in Adaptive was led by managing partner Vania Schlogel, who was formerly chief investment officer for Jay Z’s Tidal.

Currently, Adaptive Studios has 28 full-time employees. With the new funding, the company plans to selectively expand its creative and production ranks, Chiles said.

Adaptive Studios expects to become profitable in 2018, after investing heavily in content over the last 18 months, according to Chiles. It now has a slate of over 70 short-form projects in development or production with several additional longer-form series.

Adaptive Studios completed its Series A funding in December 2013. Previous investors includes Tom Barrack, executive chairman of Colony Northstar; Joe Steinberg, co-founder of Leucadia National; Roger McNamee, founding partner of Elevation Partners; and Todd Wagner, co-owner of 2929 Entertainment, Magnolia Pictures, and Landmark Theaters.

Adaptive’s partners have included AMC, HBO, Netflix, Verizon, Miramax, FX Networks, YouTube Red, Fox Animation, 21 Laps, Lionsgate, and Blackpills.

Pictured above (l. to r.): Adaptive Studios founders Marc Joubert, Perrin Chiles, TJ Barrack

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