Zealot Networks, led by former Maker Studios chief Danny Zappin, has received an investment that values the digital media startup at $100 million.
The financing came from media giant ITV, which operates the largest commercial TV network in the UK. The money will go toward further building out Zealot’s digital studio in Venice and supporting its merger and acquisition activities. Zealot acquired a majority stake in music licensing firm AudioMicro last week for $20 million.
Zealot has raised more than $30 million to date. The network launched in August with $25 million in initial funding, putting ITV’s investment most likely around $5 million.
Zappin, as Zealot’s president and chief executive, is laying down the initial pieces for his new venture, which is part multichannel network, accelerator, digital distributor and talent management firm. Zappin was toppled from Maker Studios’ top spot less than a year before it was sold to Walt Disney Co. for upward of $950 million.
“ITV’s investment provides a foothold in Europe and lays the groundwork for Zealot’s global expansion,” Zappin said in a statement. “The ITV relationship also gives us upstream opportunities for IP/content to distribute across traditional and digital media platforms.”
ITV appointees will join Zealot’s board under the deal’s terms.