The transaction also calls for the investor, whose name was not disclosed, to establish a $25 million fund to produce content that is in keeping with Wayfarer’s mission of creating content that “brings people together.”
Wayfarer said the company was valued at $10 million in the deal with the investment fund dubbed 4sbay. Baldoni said the influx of capital has come from a wealthy individual focused on impact investing. With the new stake in hand, Los Angeles-based Wayfarer plans to expand from its current staff of about eight employees to a larger and more diversified production operation. The company is in the midst of searching for a CEO and other C-suite executives. It’s also looking for new office space after being based on Sunset Gower Studios in recent years.
4sbay is described as “a family office dedicated to mission and impact related investments to stem the gap between racial, social and economic inequalities.” Jim Casselberry, chief investment officer of 4sbay, is serving as interim CEO of Wayfarer.
“This company is about bringing people together and creating premium content,” Baldoni told Variety. “The content we consume is so important — it’s important that we create content that says something, that can bring us together to remember our shared humanity.”
Baldoni said he co-founded Wayfarer seven years ago years ago “in a home that was going into foreclosure” before he found a steady gig on the CW’s much-praised “Jane the Virgin.” Baldoni’s partners at present are Ahmed Musiol, Brian Singer and Farhoud Meybodi.
Wayfarer is the home of the CW program “My Last Days,” which chronicles the end of life for those battling terminal illness. It also produces the web series “Man Enough,” examining questions of masculinity and equality. Wayfarer will release its first feature film, the Baldoni-directed drama “Five Feet Apart,” through CBS Films in March. The company has also done commercial work for Metro PCS, Wells Fargo, Subaru, the Ad Council, Kellogg’s and Ford.
Baldoni plans to devote more time to expanding Wayfarer after he wraps production on the fifth and final season of “Jane the Virgin” this year. He also has a movie in development at Warner Bros., “Clouds,” in which he is tabbed to direct and to star.
“This is a really exciting time to spread our wings and see what’s possible,” Baldoni said. “We have (financial) backing. We don’t have to worry about overdraft fees. For me after starting this company in my home that was going into foreclosure seven years ago — this is really a special time. If you follow your heart and believe in yourself, anything is possible.”