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Skybound announces public investment opportunity on Republic

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Skybound Entertainment, the company behind The Walking Dead, is going public, offering investment to the public via a Regulation A+ campaign on the Republic investment platform. The campaign looks to raisefrom $50-75 million, according to filings.

The company, which is valued at $500 million, launched semi-privately on Republic last month and has raised $11 million already in what is described as “a quiet period.” As of this week, anyone can invest in the company, starting at a $500 buy in. Investors will later be offered special reward tiers, including discounted merchandise to exclusive experiences and behind-the-scenes access.

Skybound started out as Robert Kirkman’s imprint at Image comics. Following the groundbreaking success of the The Walking Dead, both in print and in media, it has become a media company in its own right, with not only TWD but Invincible, Impact Winter, and more than 150 other properties in its IP warchest. Kirkman is now chairman of the company and as continues to occasionally write comics (Oblivion Song, Die! Die! Die!) even as he’s become a legitimate media mogul in Hollywood.

For instance, in April, Renfield will debut in theaters, a take on the Dracula legend based on a Kirkman idea and starring Nicholas Hoult and Nicolas Cage; it’s already getting buzz on the socials. Skybound is projected to make $105mm revenue on $30mm EBITDA.

The just announced investment campaign will allow the public to invest in what’s described as “a fast-growing company with a proven track record and competitive business model.” Skybound’s media partners include streamers Amazon, Netflix, and HBO, mega-retail stores like WalMart and Target, and luxury entertainment corporations like Diageo and Creative Artist Agency (CAA).

CEO David Alpert says that “We’re so excited for this Regulation A+ offering, as the concept aligns with one of Skybound’s core values: connecting with fans. We believe that by empowering our creators to do what they do best, and inviting its superfans to be able to hold a stake in the content they’re passionate about, it’s a win win for everyone.”

To get more into the nitty gritty of the deal, Rob Salkowitz spoke with Alpert and co-Chairman Jon Goldman about the move at Forbes, and it’s a must read if you want to dig in:

JG: If you looked at it that way, we’re incredible undervalued and Tesla is incredibly overvalued (laughs). If you did a traditional comp analysis of global IP holding companies – for example, the ones that sold to Disney – I think it’s easy to draw the conclusion that there are many multiples of the pricing that our investors can earn on exit. You know, we can’t guarantee it; no business can. But the types of things we do are valued far more highly than $500 million at some potential exit point.


DA: We had, and still have, plenty of opportunity to take more institutional money, and at some point may end up doing so. The goal here was twofold: one to raise additional capital for our strategic initiatives across media, but also the opportunity to partner with the fan really is something that we think is transformational in the sense that a lot of traditional media companies, and even some of the disruptive ones, like Netflix, are still organized around that one form of distribution, and we can switch the focus. We think we’re the first media company organized around, not just an individual channel distribution, but on connecting you to that in a 360-degree way.

These kinds of “fan investment” programs have been used before, most notably by Legion M, which has financed projects from Kevin Smith and William Shatner. This offering represent a more regulated form of crowdfunding, in a way.  More broadly, several comics companies have tried self-financing media in the past: IDW, which has had mixed success; and Marvel, which has become the hottest brand in media after being acquired by Disney.

With VC money drying up everywhere, and The Walking Dead having such a passionate fanbase, turning to public means to fund expansion is already one of the most interesting moves of ‘23. And we’re only three weeks in.

For more information about the offering go to the Republic investment page: republic.com/skybound. You can also review Skybound’s Form 1-A here. 

There’s also a lengthy piece about the announcement at Venturebeat.

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