Production company Box to Box Films recently secured £30 million (approximately $38 million) in growth capital from Bruin Capital, which will take a minority stake in the maker of streaming sensation Formula 1: Drive to Survive, according to a source familiar with the deal.
With the new funds, Box to Box intends to expand into self-financed work and new verticals (such as scripted entertainment), with an eye toward potential M&A opportunities as well. In addition to Drive to Survive, the company has produced sports docs Break Point and Full Swing for Netflix as well as Make or Break for Apple TV+, among others, while developing true crime and additional non-sports projects too.
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“Box To Box is ready to take the next step in realizing its huge potential to become the definitive sports entertainment company globally while continuing to produce best-in-class non-sport content,” Box to Box co-founders James Gay-Rees and Paul Martin said in a statement. “To execute this next growth phase called for a partner who understood our business and brought complementary resources and track record that would excite the industry as well as creative partners. Bruin is that and more, and we’re thrilled to be working with [Bruin CEO] George Pyne and the team.”
Founded in 2016, Box to Box explored numerous potential partnerships before reaching an agreement with Bruin. The deal comes amid expanded interest—and competition—in the non-live sports category, kicked off in part by the success Netflix has seen with Drive to Survive and similar access-driven sports shows. Box to Box is currently working on new rugby and track-focused shows for Netflix.
For Bruin, the deal represents its first minority investment or foray into produced entertainment. However, it’s also the latest pairing of the investment vehicle with a growing outfit boasting European roots. Launched in 2015, the company has concluded more than 30 deals. Just last week, Sportico reported that Bruin would be selling marketing firm Two Circles in a deal said to be for roughly $315 million.
“We can’t be more excited to support Box To Box in this booming renaissance for intellectual property,” Pyne said in a statement. “On top of being world-class storytellers, the team’s ability to turn insider’s access into definable business growth and meaningful value creation is why everyone in the industry is looking to work with them. Now, it’s about having the capital and flexibility to create multiple lines of sustainable growth businesses, which is where we come in. Besides being fans of their work, we see limitless potential for the company to capitalize on a gamut of opportunities with athletes, teams, leagues, federations and brands for collaboration and business development.”
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