Generate gets Velocity funding
EmptyGenerate, the digital production studio run by former WB Network CEO Jordan Levin, has secured $6 million in financing from Velocity Interactive Group, the new-media investment group run by former News Corp. and AOL execs.
Generate, which manages clients and creates original content, was founded two years ago by Levin and had an exclusive production contract with MTV Networks, which yielded Web series "Home Purchase Club" on VH1's Vspot among other offerings. That agreement, though, ended last fall, and the studio is looking to spread its content through different Web destinations or traditional media.
"We're talking with all platforms," said Levin, Generate's CEO. "We view our job as creating quality content that uses digital primarily to incubate and feed ideas and tying advertisers in as partners to ride alongside that distribution strategy."
Former Fox Interactive Media president Ross Levinsohn, a partner at Velocity along with former AOL CEO Jonathan Miller, said Levin has proved that he's able to "produce cheaply and manage efficiently," a must in the Internet world, as evidenced by the relatively small $6 million investment.
"It could set a new model for all media, and he's willing to try that," Levinsohn said. "He's a risk-taker, and in any industry that's trying to reinvent itself you need risk-takers."
Levin's management team includes former CAA executive Jared Hoffman and "Bernie Mac" producer Pete Aronson.
Velocity also recently invested in online video ad company Broadband Enterprises. Levinsohn said that stake, along with the one in Generate, "certainly resonate together."
Generate also unveiled a new production slate. "Pink — The Series" is a follow-up to a Web show that bowed in September and has garnered more than 4 million views; "LaQuisha" is based on a character created on L.A. radio station KROQ-FM; and "Knockers" is a comedy show from sketch group Good Neighbor.
Generate's clients include Andy Milonakis and Trevor Moore from Whitest Kids U Know, a comedy troupe with a show on Fuse.