L.A.-Based Media Incubator Receives Japanese Investment


LOS ANGELES: Japan's Mitsui & Co. has taken a minority stake in FactoryMade Ventures, a Los Angeles-based outfit that incubates media and entertainment businesses.

In addition to the investment, Mitsui & Co—one of Japan's largest diversified general-trading companies, with businesses ranging from food to chemicals, machinery and finance—is forming a strategic alliance with FactoryMade to jointly create, incubate and fund content, intellectual property and new-media businesses. This is the first U.S. media investment for Mitsui, whose Japanese portfolio includes Kids Station and World Hi-Vision Channel.

Founded by John Fogelman and Cristina Patwa, FactoryMade's ventures include El Rey Network and Tres Pistoleros Studios with Robert Rodriguez and Univision Communications and the Lucha Underground sports wrestling league with Mark Burnett and Mexico’s Lucha Libre AAA.
Yasuyuki Uchida, general manager of Mitsui’s media business division, commented, “By creating successful new media businesses in the U.S., we hope to build another bridge between America’s media industry and that of Japan, which are two leading markets in the world.”

“We are excited to be partnering with Mitsui as we look to accelerate the growth of FactoryMade’s IP portfolio," said Fogelman, FactoryMade's CEO. "In the past, we have had two unique experiences with Japanese IP—the first was our work with the Transformers franchise and the second was a smaller experience with J.J. Abrams on a Manga for Cloverfield. This partnership strengthens our ability to continue mining local IP and re-imagining it in Hollywood.”