21 January 2016
Entertainment format production, broadcast and distribution company Formatzone, has successfully closed a £400,000 seed round to take Birmingham’s media talent to the forefront of mainstream television in the UK and abroad. Midven’s Early Advantage fund invested £125,000 alongside investment from Finance Birmingham and Ascension Ventures.
Formatzone specialises in fast-tracking production, broadcast and distribution of high quality TV formats- working in partnership with leading national and international creative talents.
Founders Mark Rowland and Ben Robinson embarked on this journey to provide a ‘one stop shop’ for new and existing creative talent.
CEO Mark Rowland said: “Formatzone will provide a new, fast route to market in the UK for unscripted formats, where innovation has been in short supply in recent years”.
Formatzone combines studio resources, direct access to UK digital terrestrial airtime and international distribution. Formatzone is based at Birmingham City University’s new mulit-million pound 5 studio complex at Parkside Media House. Formatzone is also working with leading local TV stations in Birmingham and the UK’s major cities broadcasting on Freeview Channel 8.
MD Ben Robinson said: “Based in such a young and diverse city, this is a fantastic opportunity to disrupt the conventional TV commissioning model, and we are looking forward to exciting creative collaborations in the year ahead”.
Renowned for bringing UK creations including Robot Wars, Paradise Hotel and Supernanny to US screens, the company will leverage Mark’s extensive experience in taking and producing formats in international markets and BAFTA nominee Ben’s ability to produce and direct award winning TV programmes and manage production teams.The duo bring a wealth of experience to Formatzone.
“We are glad to be on board this exciting opportunity, where Birmingham can take the lead in opening up new opportunities for new talent, taking risks that the bigger players aren’t ready to take. Being based at Parkside Media House gives Formatzone access to some of the leading new production facilities in the country and a wealth of young talent. Coupling this with an industry renowned team provides Format Zone with real promise,” said Gio Finocchio, Investment Director at Midven.
Midven is the leading Midlands-based provider of venture capital funding to early-stage and established businesses. The Birmingham-based venture capital firm currently manages five funds representing a total of £76m under management. Midven’s £10m Early Advantage fundprovides investment for small, high growth businesses at start-up and early-stage in the West Midlands.
Midven was established in 1990 and has grown significantly since the existing management team took ownership of the business in 2007. The Midven team has established a reputation for delivering solid commercial experience and creative business solutions to help their portfolio companies achieve exceptional outcomes. For more information, please visit www.midven.co.uk.
For more information contact:
Mark Whitehouse, Clarke Associates
Telephone: 01564 826653