David Abraham’s Wonderhood Studios has won investment from The UK Creative Content EIS Fund, launched this summer by Calculus Capital and Stargrove Pictures in association with the BFI, the fund’s first investment.
In the last year, Wonderhood’s TV production arm has won commissions from the BBC and Channel 4. The first is a factual format for BBC2 about food and memory featuring Heston Blumenthal. Other projects include a documentary about current US politics for BBC3 and a medical science series for Channel 4. A BBC1 project is also in advanced development for 2020.
Wonderhood’s advertising studio recently created a campaign recognising the contribution of black players to England’s football team for Nike, has completed creative projects for Comic Relief, Karma Cola and Pit Pat. This summer the company won a competitive pitch to produce a major TV and digital campaign for mobile challenger bank Starling.
Abraham said: “Wonderhood is a new generation creative business focused on innovative content that impacts on culture. As we look to scale, the investment from the UK Creative Content EIS Fund allows us to deliver our plans faster and to begin to explore genres such as drama sooner.”
The UK Creative Content EIS Fund was launched by Calculus Capital and Stargrove Pictures in June following a BFI report chaired by Lionsgate UK CEO Zygi Kamasa. The report highlighted a shortfall in independent finance to help successful UK screen content companies scale up.
The fund has targeted an initial fund raise of £20m and is aiming to double a client’s investment, in addition to the tax benefits associated with EIS. Wonderhood will use the new money to scale up, build its team and develop new productions.
John Glencross, Chief Executive at Calculus Capital said: “The UK Creative Content EIS Fund is designed to help companies with high potential to accelerate their growth, recruit high quality executive talent and develop new content for production. The fund has an investment strategy covering premium screen content over multiple platforms and target audiences. People are fundamental to the success of any organisation and David Abraham’s experience, including growing Channel 4 revenues to £1bn, further increases our confidence in the continued success of Wonderhood Studios.”
Stephen Fuss, CEO of Stargrove Pictures, said: “Wonderhood has everything we’re looking for in an investment – a company with outstanding creative talent, great management, a slate of commissions and bags of potential. It’s also uniquely placed to apply its expertise across several areas – from advertising and factual entertainment to TV drama and documentaries. That opens up a host of opportunities for generating revenue and profit."
Amanda Nevill, Chief Executive Officer of the BFI, said: “Calculus has identified a strong pipeline of investment opportunities for the UK Creative Content EIS Fund in the UK film and screen content sector, already worth almost £8 billion to the UK and growing to meet international demand for UK creativity, innovation and talent. We are very excited about its first investment with Wonderhood through the fund which is setting out to support innovative content companies working across film and broader screen storytelling.”
Wonderhood’s co-founder, Sachin Dosani is the former Managing Director and co-founder of Investment Bank ACF. He said: “Calculus is one of the UK’s most respected EIS fund managers. Its association with the BFI and Stargrove created a compelling proposition and natural choice for Wonderhood when we were selecting our funding partner for the next stage of growth.”
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