Iconic Arts Goes Big in Santa Monica, Tokyo

Iconic Arts Goes Big in Santa Monica, Tokyo
Iconic Arts’ co-founders, from left, Matthew Medney, Mo Yazdani, Steven Haddadian, Jack Sheehan and Alec Roth.

Entertainment studio Iconic Arts is working from new offices in Santa Monica and Tokyo after closing $3.1 million in pre-seed financing. The financing brings its pre-seed valuation to $20 million. 

Iconic Arts was founded in 2023 by Steven Haddadian, Alec Roth, Matthew Medney, Mo Yazdani and Jack Sheehan. Yazdani, who serves as chief operations officer, said that Iconic Arts is focused on developing transmedia intellectual property across gaming, television, film and merchandising. He said the studio works “cradle to grave” on content, developing both its own IP as well as producing branded IP for clients. Iconic Arts is working as a joint venture with an unnamed Japanese entity, which Yazdani said will allow Iconic Arts to partner with Japanese brands and investors.

The company’s new funding is composed of a $100,000 angel check received last year and $3 million of pre-seed investment that was committed in the second quarter of this year. It declined to disclose specific investors. Iconic Arts’ advisory board includes screenwriter Eric Roth, artist Will.i.am, Animoca Brands Japan chief executive Motoki Tani and Chris Mattmann, the latter of whom serves as chief technology and innovation officer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge.

Iconic Arts is partnering with consumer brands to develop film and television IP, which can be applied across mediums including video games, merchandise and live experiences.

“In a world where audiences are pressing skip on commercials, digital marketing dollars are not providing tangible results anymore,” Yazdani said. “We’re now entering an era where brands will become the studios themselves, financing and producing content that does more than just plug products into product placement.”

Yazdani said that Iconic Arts has developed its own proprietary technology to help clients create IP-based content. This technology includes a “world building” tool that enables users to leverage artificial intelligence to create worlds for user-generated content platforms such as Roblox and Fortnite, without any coding work.

The company also created a transmedia platform that leverages small-language models to help creators develop new IP assets such as characters, scripts, 3D models and game design documents. Yazdani said the technology for the world-building tool and the transmedia platform is completed and the company is working to optimize the user interface and develop its go-to-market strategy, with a plan to release the services in the third or fourth quarter of this year.

Iconic Arts intends to use its pre-seed investment to fund the develop of its own original IP, technology development and operational expansion. 

“One thing that we do as a transmedia studio is separate the IP, the world, the story and the characters from the IP format,” Yazdani said. “That’s why we don’t call ourselves a film studio or a game studio … basically, we can do continuous storytelling with a unified narrative through new formats that come in the next few years.”

No posts to display