PE Firm PSG Acquires Zype, ftrack, iconik, Celtx, Wildmoka, Launches Backlight

Backlight, a new technology company backed by growth equity firm PSG has launched in the market along with the news that it has acquired ftrack, iconik, Celtx, Wildmoka and Zype. PSG led the investment of $200M+ into Backlight for all the acquisitions and future working capital of the companies, but isn’t disclosing how much it paid for any of the vendors. The most well known of the bunch and largest in revenue is Zype, which raised close to $19 million in funding since inception.

Interestingly enough, the team at Backlight isn’t looking at the new company as the next big platform in the market. It’s actually the opposite. The value that they’re bringing to these existing small companies comes from the scale and infrastructure Backlight provides with a holding company strategy. In turn, this creates more opportunity for their new business units to focus on creating the best possible tools and solutions, while removing a lot of the barriers of scale that small companies encounter.

Backlight states that its mission is to serve media, entertainment and video-forward customers with cloud-based solutions that dramatically improve every step of the media content lifecycle. Each of the business units provide customers with different solutions to help them create content experiences.

The Backlight business units are:

  • ftrack is the creator of ftrack Studio, cineSync, and ftrack Review, the Emmy and Academy Award-winning production tracking, interactive media review, and team collaboration platforms for the creative industries. ftrack’s solutions are designed for producers, supervisors, artists, and pipeline developers to collaborate with anyone, anywhere.
  • iconik is a cloud-native, SaaS media management solution that is designed for users to share files from any storage, collaborate on video, and enrich media with AI for high searchability—all with great ease and the ability to scale to serve solo creators or large global teams.
  • Celtx is an all-in-one solution for writing, planning, and managing media production that is used by millions worldwide. Celtx provides pre-production planning software, including scriptwriting, storyboarding, shot-planning and budgeting, to in-house production teams, agencies, film schools and universities, game studios, and media & entertainment companies.
  • Wildmoka is a platform for the creation of live and near-live content in Sports, News and Entertainment. It has won several awards for its AutoReZone technology, which helps broadcasters provide a mobile-first experience. Wildmoka’s cloud-native Digital Media Factory aims to empower broadcasters and rights owners to produce and deliver content from any source, to any destination, in any format, at speed and at scale.
  • Zype provides the infrastructure for digital video with a cloud-based platform to manage and distribute enterprise-grade video across the web, mobile, TV, and social media. Offering both developer-friendly tools such as customizable APIs as well as turnkey solutions for OTT apps and linear/FAST channels, Zype’s SaaS solutions enable video creators or distributors to quickly build, launch and manage superior video products at scale

As we’ve seen, the market rewards growth and scale, and puts a premium on growth at scale. In speaking with Ben Kaplan (LinkedIn), Backlight’s CEO, his goal for these businesses is to put them in the best possible situation where they can focus on products and services and help drive the whole portfolio towards growth at scale. Across all the companies, Backlight has about 300 employees and expects to be 350+ by the end of this year.