The Silicon Valley venture capital firm has invested in startups like Uber, eBay, Stitch Fix, Snap and many more. Longtime Benchmark partner Bill Gurley spearheaded the Impact deal and will join its board.
“We could not be more thrilled to be working with Benchmark. They have an unrivaled track record in building marketplaces and companies that have changed the world,” Grazer said. “From the moment we met Bill, it was clear that he understood and believed in our vision. Benchmark is not just an investor, but a true partner, whose expertise you can’t put a price on.”
Howard said the backing will enable Imagine Impact to broaden its impact. “Their investment enables us to go wider and deeper in bringing great storytellers to the forefront and connecting them to the entertainment industry,” he said.
This fall, Imagine Impact plans to launch The Creative Network, an online marketplace and professional networking platform designed specifically customized to the entertainment industry.
“We initially launched Impact as a content accelerator to democratize access to the entertainment industry, discover talent at scale and accelerate the often slow, frustrating and antiquated development process,” Mitchell said. “To do this, we built new technologies and systems to rapidly evaluate talent at scale, and developed (or created) a platform to showcase the talent we discovered and connect them and their material directly to the global market.”
Gurley said the traditional way of sourcing entertainment talent “is based on who you know, which presents high barriers-to-entry for the fresh voices we need to hear from.” He added, “Impact is knocking down these barriers through a marketplace model that reduces information asymmetry and levels the playing field. Ultimately this leads to more opportunities and better outcomes for everyone involved.”
The Series A follows a deal with Netflix using Impact’s proprietary systems to source and develop original feature films from writers around the world across four specific genres for the streaming giant. The firm also launched an Australian offshoot financed by Screen Australia and Film Victoria along with state and territory screen agencies.
Founded in 2018, Impact has a network of 30,000 writers from over 80 countries and developed 72 projects, 25 of which have been set up 24 at major studios.
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