Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund and Sky have invested David and Matthew Frank’s Dial Square 86, the holding company for The RightsXchange Limited (“TRX”).
TRX is a new online deal-making tool that enables TV rights buyers and sellers from around the world to connect and complete licensing deals entirely online.
It soft launched in Asia last month and says it has over 5,000 hours of programming available from UK and US distributors and rights holders such as Sky Vision, Discovery Communications, All3Media International, Hat Trick International and Sesame Workshop.
C4 and Sky will each take an undisclosed minority stake in Dial Square 86 which was set up in 2014 by the former RDF Media founders and Zodiak Media executives, David and Matthew Frank.
Their investment is part of a £5.2m funding round which also includes investment from private individuals.
TRX has an Advisory Board of industry figures including John McVay, CEO of PACT, Stephen Lambert, founder and CEO of Studio Lambert and Nadine Nohr, former CEO of Shine International.
The deal marks the first time Channel 4 and Sky have co-invested in a start-up.
David Frank, CEO of Dial Square 86 and Chairman of TRX said: “We are absolutely delighted that two of the UK’s leading content players with such reputations for innovation and excellence have decided to back what we are doing. There is real momentum behind TRX now and we’re excited about launching a truly global product that can make programme distribution faster and easier while opening up the TV rights market to previously disenfranchised buyers and delivering extra value to rights holders.”
David Abraham, Chief Executive of Channel 4 said: “In post-Brexit Britain, it’s even more important for the UK’s creative industries to have access to innovative ways of trading across the globe. We recognise that the new TRX tool is a valuable online resource which will enable indies to connect with the world and export their programmes in a digital marketplace and will help support a buoyant UK indie sector well into the future.”
Emma Lloyd, Group Business Development Director, Sky said: “This latest investment reflects our ambition to partner with pioneering start-ups that can help transform the TV landscape. We’re delighted to be backing such an innovative UK-based company, with its roots firmly in the creative sector. Together with Channel 4, we can help TRX to grow the TV rights market, which will benefit everyone in the industry.”