Brent Montgomery’s Wheelhouse Invests in Digital Studio Portal A (Exclusive)
The latest partnership for the year-old content hub will partner with the San Francisco and Los Angeles-based studio to build on its youth-driven and Millennial-focused content.
Brent Montgomery’s Wheelhouse Entertainment continues to rack up strategic partnerships. The year-old content operation’s latest pact is with millennial-focused digital studio Portal A, which Wheelhouse has secured both an investment and partnership deal.
Ten-year-old Portal A, which has previously not taken on any other outside investor since its 2008 founding, produces youth-driven content for a variety of suppliers — both in media and from traditional consumer brands. Clientele for its largely shortform content include Google, Amazon, HBO, Universal Pictures, Lyft, Clorox and P&G.
“Having looked seriously at a lot of digital companies, Portal A is a unicorn,” said Montgomery. “Their success is driven by the trifecta of client service, exquisite creative and unique culture — and they run a profitable business, which is rare in the wild west of digital. Together, we will develop an aggressive plan for growth for these incredible content creators who can work at a high level with brands, as well as with talent that can evolve into brands. It’s exactly the kind of investment and partnership that drove me to create Wheelhouse. And while those of us who hail from the TV world are psyched to get millions of impressions, the work these guys make reaches billions. Portal A is the first significant piece of a much larger marketing play for Wheelhouse."
As part of the partnership, Wheelhouse will use its larger roster of talent and industry relations to help buoy Portal A’s millennial-focused content — while also giving the company access to its large-scale production capabilities.
“We started this company because we saw an opportunity to go against the grain of our industry and produce premium, breakthrough content for a new generation,” said Portal A founders (and childhood friends) Nate Houghteling, Kai Hasson and Zach Blume. “A decade later, our work is seen by a global viewing audience and we’ve brought together the brightest team in digital entertainment, while the core values of the company remain the same. We’re thrilled to partner with Wheelhouse and visionary entrepreneurs like Brent Montgomery and Jimmy Kimmel, and are fired up for the next chapter."
Approaching its one-year anniversary, Wheelhouse has been particularly aggressive in snapping up partnerships. Most notably, the company brought on Jimmy Kimmel as a partner in late 2018 — also launching his entertainment and media venture, Kimmelot. Portal A represents its biggest move in the digital space.
“Nate, Kai and Zach thrive on delivering results and disrupting the status quo through innovation, creativity and attention to the bottom line,” added Wheelhouse chief strategy officer Ed Simpson. “It’s a perfect marriage with the Wheelhouse philosophy. We cannot wait to expand Portal A’s already robust content business, and integrate with our expertise in entertainment and production, and access to top talent via our various production deals and joint ventures.”