Angel Studios—distributors of The Chosen—is receiving $47 million in investment from Gigafund, the venture capital firm behind Elon Musk’s company SpaceX. They believe Angel is transforming the entertainment industry like Musk changed space and automobiles.
Angel Studios is behind some of the most successful crowdfunded shows of all time. The round caps off a major comeback year for cofounders Neal and Jeffrey Harmon, who led Angel Studios to over $100 million in annual revenue just one year after Disney and Warner Bros. tried to shut the studio down in court.
The financing was led by Gigafund, a venture capital firm backing the world’s most ambitious and transformative entrepreneurs, and Bain-backed Uncorrelated Ventures, which invests in infrastructure software.
Gigafund is known for being one of the largest investors in SpaceX, as well as other game-changing companies in industries ranging from education and energy to healthcare and housing. Original seed investors Alta Ventures and Kickstart Fund also participated. In addition to the venture backing, five million of the investment round was crowdsourced directly from Angel Studios fans.
“Angel Studios helps creators build a direct relationship with their fans and produce meaningful and compelling content for hundreds of millions of people who have been underserved by the entertainment industry,” said Stephen Oskoui, Managing Partner of Gigafund. “We believe that Angel is on track to rewrite the rules of the media business and have a significant impact on culture.”
Today’s movie business is a $280-billion industry almost totally controlled by five major Hollywood studios. Studio executives decide what content to produce in boardrooms behind closed doors, with little to no input from consumers. As a result, almost 80% of the films that Hollywood thinks audiences want to see fail to break even every year, while real audiences rarely get the chance to enjoy the stories that matter most to them. Studios rely on a few major hits to maintain the status quo.
Angel Studios is a community-driven movie studio that empowers audiences to decide what content gets produced and distributed, while creating communities around each project. Creators pitch projects on the Angel platform, and “Angel investors” fund the ones they’re most excited to see (via the Angel Funding Portal). Post-production, content is delivered directly to viewers and goes viral as fans share it with others.
“On Angel’s community and streaming platform, artists answer to audiences, not to a Hollywood studio,” said Angel Cofounder and CEO Neal Harmon, “As our creators invert Hollywood’s abysmal 80 percent failure rate, audiences will win.”
The Angel model has already produced three of the most successful crowdfunded shows of all time, including:
- The Chosen, the #1 crowdfunded media project in history, viewed over 300 million times to date, with a special in theaters this Christmas.
- Dry Bar Comedy, the #1 family-friendly stand-up comedy channel, currently on its eighth season with one billion views a year.
- The Wingfeather Saga, the world’s #1 crowdfunded animated kids show, currently in production.
With this latest funding round, Angel plans to continue improving its streaming platform, market to new audiences, and develop its content pipeline for 2022 and beyond.
“This raise gives us more than funding; it gives us key strategic partners,” said Harmon. “Gigafund and Uncorrelated will help us realize our long-term mission of remaking the entertainment industry and freeing both creators and their fans to enjoy the content that they find most important.”
About Angel Studios
Angel Studios’ mission is to be the home of stories that amplify light. Angel’s crowdfunded studio platform serves audiences that have been overlooked by Hollywood and other media conglomerates. At Angel Studios, “Angel” investors choose which titles will be created, funded, and distributed. Launched by the original founders of VidAngel, fans can learn more at Angel.com
Gigafund is a venture capital firm backing the world’s most ambitious and transformative entrepreneurs. Gigafund was founded by former Founders Fund partners Stephen Oskoui and Luke Nosek and has over $2B in assets under management. Gigafund’s investments include SpaceX, Cover, Luminous Computing, the Boring Company, Veryable, Last Energy, and Sana Benefits. More information can be found at Gigafund.com.
About Uncorrelated Ventures
Uncorrelated Ventures was founded by Salil Deshpande with Bain’s backing to focus on infrastructure software, both traditional and decentralized. Deshpande was on the Forbes Midas List of the 100 best-performing venture investors worldwide in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019, and 9th on the 2021 Business Insider Seed 100 list of best all-time seed investors. Deshpande has invested in several successful marketplace models including Lending Club, Upgrade, Pipe, Lyte, AngelList India, and now Angel Studios. More at Uncorrelated.com.