Ben Silverman's and Howard T. Owens' Propagate Gets Raine Group Investment

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Ben Silverman

The global merchant bank joins A+E Networks as a backer of the indie studio.

Indie studio Propagate Content, led by Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens, said Tuesday it has secured an investment from global merchant bank Raine Group.

Financial details weren't disclosed, but the companies called the investment "significant." A+E Networks has also financially backed the firm.

Propagate, launched in 2015, plans to use it to "accelerate the company's growth globally through the launch of innovative new ventures and targeted acquisitions, further cementing its reputation as a transformational content studio."

Owens is founding partner and co-CEO, while Silverman serves as co-CEO and chairman. The company said it has 17 series in production and 40 projects in development at more than 21 networks and streaming services, including Apple's first series, Planet of the Apps, starring Jessica Alba, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gary Vaynerchuk and will.i.am.

"Over the past few years we have seen massive shifts in the media industry that have changed the way production companies have traditionally done business," said Silverman and Owens. "The world of media and technology continues to evolve rapidly, and we want to have the capital and partners in place to help us grow even faster allowing us to continue to deliver premium content to audiences around the world."

They added: "Nancy Dubuc and the team at A+E Networks have been fantastic partners, and Joe Ravitch and the team at Raine bring incredible experience and access. We are thrilled to have such best-in-class partners that will help us climb to new heights."

"We see the future of storytelling as global, and Howard and Ben have a great record of approaching the world that way, building and distributing multinational formats with great success," said Raine co-founder Ravitch. "We are delighted to partner with them to help bring their groundbreaking content to viewers across multiple platforms around the world."

Ravitch and Erik Hodge, who leads Raine's entertainment practice, will join the Propagate board.

Past Raine investments include Vice Media, Imagine Entertainment, Matt Stone's and Trey Parker's Important Studios, fantasy sports operator Draft Kings and action sports company Nitro Circus.

The Raine investment will allow Propagate to expand its worldwide production, distribution and digital businesses, including the formation of a branded content studio division and podcast network. "Propagate's ambitions for the coming year include growing its global footprint with the launch of business units in Latin America, Asia, India and the Middle East," the company said. "Through these units, the company will partner with local production communities to develop, produce and distribute original formats as well as target potential acquisitions."