MADRID — Bowing as the demand for premium Spanish-language content still outruns its supply, Chile’s Screen Capital is launching a $20 million venture capital fund targeting principally TV series and movies with part streaming platform distribution.
Chile first private investment fund specializing in the audiovisual and entertainment sector, and looking in principle to focus on productions from the Spanish-speaking world, Screen Capital will launch in March. Founded by former Chile Film Commissioner Joyce Zylberberg and Tatiana Emden, who oversaw Chile’s Audiovisual Development Fund, the country’s principal source of public-sector incentives, Screen Capital numbers among its partners Edgar Spielmann, ex-VP and COO of Fox Networks Group Latin America.
Based out of Santiago de Chile, but with members and collaborators in Argentina, the U.S. and the Dominican Republic, Screen Capital investments will average around $2 million per title, the fund either co-producing, investing or offering credit lines to productions.
Screen Capital launches as Latin American and Spanish producers face broadly two business models, Manuel Martí, now Fremantle head of scripted development, Latin America, said at Mipcom.
One is “work-for-hire for platforms in a global environment, where they buy all rights and fund 100% of production costs”; the other “co-production, where production companies work as studios, sourcing co-funding in other countries from other channels, networks and local operators, where no one owns 100% of the IP and platforms buys a stake in shows.
In Latin America, streaming platforms often just part-finance against select territory rights. OTT players also pay after two-to-three years, said Zylberberg.
Employing flexible business models, Screen Capital can pick up some of this slack, either gap-financing on co-producing from an initial stage of a project or even putting up minimum guarantee against distribution rights, she added.
Screen Capital is backed by Chile’s Production Development Corporation (CORFO), which backs Chilean venture capital funds via longterm credit facilities. sharing risk with the fund, ando hence attracting investors.
Screen Capital’s slate investment will take in content from multiple companies. Its first $20 million of financing is channeled via a Screen One fund, which has now successfully completed its financing. Hence, Screen Capital is now working to raise further private investment, backed by Corfo.
“Our rationale is that there is an escalating demand for customized regional projects, from established and new platforms, which are looking for ever more content in Spanish with a local flavor, but producers do not more flexible tools allowing them to take advantage of this demand,” Zylberberg said.
“Screen Capital combines the world of audiovisual industries with the model, scale and diversification of venture capital. If we add to this a team and expert partners and smart money, it’s a very good mix,” Emden added.