Private-equity group Bison Capital Partners IV has bought a minority stake in Ease Entertainment Services, a Los Angeles-based production software and payroll-services company used by most of the major Hollywood entertainment companies. The investment totaled $17 million, according to a source close to the transaction.
Ease is one of a small group of software companies catering to the specialized needs of production companies, with an all-in-one platform of programs to manage film and TV production in a cloud-based approach designed to simplify document access and logistics. Separately, Ease provides payroll-processing services for film and TV productions, a complicated business again handled mostly by a group of specialized firms focused on Hollywood.
“While the medium for film and television has gone digital, the process for making film and television projects remains manually-intensive and paper-based, and doesn’t leverage technology,” said Ease founder and CEO Mike Rose. “Our strategy is rooted in leveraging tomorrow’s technology to create solutions that automate many of the administrative tasks that bog down producers. This allows them to spend more time on the creative process.”
The investment by Bison, a private-equity limited partnership based in Los Angeles and New York, will be used to drive growth for Ease, and finance research and development projects for new offerings. In 2012, Ease acquired Scenechronize, which automates physical production chores. The company is unveiling its latest offerings Wednesday night in Los Angeles at a reception.
Bison is not the similarly named Chinese company recently involved in the collapse of the Resolution talent agency.