VFX powerhouse studio Digital Domain has received a $31 million investment from Falcon Investment Advisors and GunnAllen Financial.Rafael Fogel, a principal at Falcon, will join the Digital Domain board of directors, which is led by Digital Domain co-chairmen John Textor and director Michael Bay.
We are excited about the growing role of digital technology in creating compelling feature films, videogames and commercials, said Carl Stork, Digital Domain ceo. Having completed this round of financing, we are now in a position to make the substantial technology investments that will enable us to bring breakthroughs like photorealistic, computer-generated human beings within reach of a wide range of feature film, videogame and advertising applications."
Stork continued, This cutting-edge development will revolutionize the entertainment industry. It will change the way we think about live-action and will even allow directors to bring back personalities of the past to `perform new material. We will debut our initial efforts in this area in early fall.
Under its new ownership and leadership, Digital Domain is poised to grow significantly in the years to come, and were pleased to be able to become involved on behalf of our investors at this stage, said Donald J. Gunn, Jr. of GunnAllen Financial. After reviewing their business plans and meeting with the senior team, were confident that the move toward full digital production coupled with Digital Domains history of rapid technical innovation and expanding marketing opportunities should allow the company to achieve its extraordinary potential.
When we announced the acquisition of Digital Domain, we told our employees that through the addition of new capital and the appropriate strategic relationships, we were committed to the extension of the Digital Domain business, Stork said. This represents a promise kept. Textor, Bay and Stork, along with football great Dan Marino and Jonathan Teaford, are the principals of Wyndcrest Holdings, a Florida-based private investment and acquisition firm focused on technology-related opportunities in entertainment, telecommunications and the Internet. An affiliate of Wyndcrest acquired Digital Domain in May 2006.
Digital Domain plans to use the investment for general corporate purposes, including retiring debt and investing in the expansion of technological support for its three business units feature films, commercials and digital visual effects software.
Boston-based Falcon Investment Advisors Llc. was formed in July 2000 to provide debt and equity financing to middle market companies. With more than 110 transactions completed since 1986, Falcons principals have extensive leveraged finance and private equity experience, and have earned a reputation for being flexible, creative and responsive.
GunnAllen Financial Inc. was founded in 1986 by hard-working entrepreneurs with the desire to help individuals, families and businesses prepare for every aspect of their financial lives. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, GunnAllen Financial is home to a staff of more than 250 financial operations personnel supporting more than 900 independent financial representatives in offices across the nation.
Founded in 1993, Digital Domain (www.digitaldomain.com
) is an award-winning full-service digital studio and production company in Venice, California, that creates special visual effects and other visual imagery for feature films, commercials and music videos. A pioneer in digital effects, Digital Domains business units have been recognized with awards from the top industry organizations. In its 13-year history, Digital Domain has won five Academy Awards: two for Best Visual Effects (TITANIC, WHAT DREAMS MAY COME); and three for Scientific and Technical Achievement for its proprietary imaging software. The company has also been nominated for three other Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects (APOLLO 13, TRUE LIES, I, ROBOT). In addition, its excellence in digital imagery and animation has earned Digital Domain multiple British Academy (BAFTA) Awards, and Prix Arts Electronica and Prix Pixel INA awards.
Wyndcrest Holdings Llc. (www.wyndcrest.com
) is a Florida-based private investment and acquisition firm focused on technology-related opportunities in entertainment, telecommunications and the Internet. Wyndcrest actively supports its portfolio companies to assure the optimal positioning and deployment of associated technologies as well as the efficient execution of related business plans.
Wyndcrest is comprised of five investment principals with significant financial and legal expertise in the closure of public/private mergers, acquisitions and investments, and in the operation of large, small and start-up companies. The principals, John Textor, Michael Bay, Jonathan Teaford, Carl Stork and Dan Marino, have direct extensive experience in the disciplines of management, technology development, strategic planning, business development and investment banking.