Wheelhouse Invests in Digital Content Studio Portal A


Brent Montgomery’s Wheelhouse Entertainment has struck an investment and partnership deal with digital content studio Portal A.

Portal A works with a new generation of emerging talent to develop, produce and distribute branded and original content. The company has produced original series with streaming platforms such as YouTube Originals, Crunchyroll and Disney Digital.

The partnership brings together Wheelhouse’s production capabilities, industry relationships and access to talent and Portal A’s expertise in youth-driven and Millennial-focused content, relationships with emerging talent and track record in branded entertainment. Together, Wheelhouse and Portal A will offer their combined resources to traditional and new media platforms, and to brands, CMOs and ad agencies.

The deal represents the first time Portal A has taken on an outside investor since its founding in 2008.

“Having looked seriously at a lot of digital companies, Portal A is a unicorn; their success is driven by the trifecta of client service, exquisite creative and unique culture—and they run a profitable business, which is rare in the wild west of digital,” said Montgomery. “Together, we will develop an aggressive plan for growth for these incredible content creators who can work at a high level with brands, as well as with talent that can evolve into brands. It’s exactly the kind of investment and partnership that drove me to create Wheelhouse. And while those of us who hail from the TV world are psyched to get millions of impressions, the work these guys make reaches billions. Portal A is the first significant piece of a much larger marketing play for Wheelhouse.”

Wheelhouse Entertainment’s chief strategy officer, Ed Simpson, added: “Nate, Kai and Zach thrive on delivering results and disrupting the status quo through innovation, creativity and attention to the bottom line; it’s a perfect marriage with the Wheelhouse philosophy. We cannot wait to expand Portal A’s already robust content business and integrate with our expertise in entertainment and production, and access to top talent via our various production deals and joint ventures.”

Portal A founders Houghteling, Hasson and Blume said in a joint statement, “We started this company because we saw an opportunity to go against the grain of our industry and produce premium, breakthrough content for a new generation. A decade later, our work is seen by a global viewing audience and we’ve brought together the brightest team in digital entertainment, while the core values of the company remain the same. We’re thrilled to partner with Wheelhouse and visionary entrepreneurs like Brent Montgomery and Jimmy Kimmel, and are fired up for the next chapter.”