The media and entertainment specialist investment house Edge has taken a minority stake in Dial Square 86 Ltd, the holding company for The RightsXchange, an online deal-making platform for TV rights licensing.
TRX, founded by TV rights entrepreneurs David Frank and Matthew Frank in 2015 (and with Sky Ventures and the Channel 4 Growth Fund as minority shareholders), enables TV programme buyers to search for content, access instant rights availabilities, negotiate a deal and sign the contract entirely online.
At the moment, transactions in this market happen offline and person-to-person, leading to long deal times and operational inefficiencies. For the last two years, TRX has been developing the core product, and went into live beta in August 2016, having already achieved significant traction with international rights holders. There are now over 350 buyers and sellers using TRX including Discovery Communications, Turner Broadcasting, All3Media International and Sky Vision.
CEO of Edge David Glick said: “The launch of TRX is a genuine game-changer for television rights licensing. At Edge we have invested in TV production and content creation over many years and this one of the most exciting innovations that we have witnessed, as an investment team. I am pleased to support our Edge Investment Manager, Jo Smith, as she leads our involvement in this transaction.”
Edge Investment Manager Jo Smith added: “TRX is a really exciting business: it is the only platform that offers sellers and buyers the means to close deals entirely online from start to finish. Buying and selling TV rights has historically been unnecessarily complicated and inefficient: From our first conversation with management we at Edge were hugely impressed by the high-calibre management team who, we believe, are perfectly placed to change the way deals take place, bringing a much needed transformation to the secondary TV rights market, whether that is content producers/owners, broadcasters or distributors.”