Modern Family star Sofia Vergara is teaming with Emiliano Calemzuk, former CEO of Shine Americas and president of Fox TV Studios, and her longtime business parther Luis Balaguer, founder of Latin World Entertainment, to form digital media company Raze, which will center on Latin-centered stories.
UTA and Ziffren Brittenham LLP, are founding partners and advisors of Raze. The company also announced it has closed a Series A from Greycroft Partners, Raine Ventures and UTA. Brent Weinstein, partner and head of digital media at UTA, and Mark Terbeek, partner, Greycroft Partners, have joined the board.
Later this year, the company will debut its mobile, video-first destination that will be a hub for news, lifestyle and beauty. Raze’s first show, Her Name Was Dolores – The Jenni I Knew produced in partnership with BTF and Dhana Media, premiered on Univision. The company has several additional television shows in development at traditional networks and SVOD partners. They include a scripted series in partnership with soccer star Diego Armando Maradona based on his life, in partnership with Dhana Media and BTF; a soapy young adult-oriented hourlong drama series based on the hit Wattpad novel Mi Hermanastro (My Stepbrother). Additional projects in development include a series on the life of Latino Hip Hop King Don Omar.
“When we began talking about what a modern media company with a Latin edge would look like, it was clear that we had a significant opportunity to create something new and fresh. With such a stellar group of accomplished partners, we are in a unique position to do exactly that on a large scale,” said Calemzuk, co-founder and CEO, Raze. “It is rewarding to be creating stories that reflect the broad array of experiences that Latinos have in the United States and we want Raze to be the home for programming that serves this growing culture.”
“With talent connecting directly with audiences, we have an opportunity to provide a unique and fresh platform to a new generation of mobile-first users that consume video stories with a hearty appetite,” said Balaguer, co-founder, Raze. “Raze will be a great tool for advertisers and products to connect with transforming Latino audiences, and will benefit from the shifting of audiences from traditional platforms to mobile video.”