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TBI Interview: Julio Fraile, GD Entertainment Fund

A new fund has been launched and is looking for TV and digital projects in which it can invest.

Julio-Fraile-GD-Entertainment-editLuxembourg-based GD Investment Fund has initiated the GD Entertainment Fund with a remit to find intellectual property with multimedia and international potential and is heading to MIPCOM looking to meet new partners and put cash into various types of intellectual property.

It has already made its first investment and is co-financing a slate of animated kids shows from Imira Entertainment.

Julio Fraile, co-CEO and general managing partner of GD Entertainment told TBI about the fund he is running and what potential partners can expect.

 

TBI: Where was GD’s specialism previously? Why move into television?

GD Investment Fund has previously operated in a variety of sectors including renewable energies and infrastructures. Our move into entertainment is due to two main factors: firstly, the global recession has reduced financing and growth in traditional industries supported by private equity finance; secondly, we believe there is considerable potential in entertainment due to the emergence of new distribution platforms and the convergence of media. These opportunities in the global television and film industry led us to set up a specialist fund – GD Entertainment Fund, which is making its debut at MIPCOM.

Given the move into media, what genres or categories of programming do you think hold the most promise? Where will the investment be focused?

lucky_fred_425We will be looking at everything from drama and kids, to formats and feature films.

We are also interested in opportunities in the gaming world, particularly when it combines with traditional broadcast media. For example, we have just completed our first investments in four animated properties from Imira Entertainment including season two of Lucky Fred (pictured), which has an innovative geo-localized gaming app, and Escape Hockey which features a unique ‘Watch and Play’ format with games embedded in the episodes.

We are looking at other non-gaming television projects as well; essentially our main criteria are that the IP has wide appeal and a long shelf-life.

How large is the fund?

We don’t have a set upper limit; the fund can be as large as required for investment in the IP we consider of interest. The main thing for us is selecting properties for the investment portfolio and making sure there is significant business potential.

What do you want to see from potential partners, what are the key investment criteria?

We are a boutique fund which is set up to provide a tailored business model and time-frame for each of our individual projects. Alongside anticipated revenue streams we consider what the potential international appeal there is, what the shelf-life is likely to be, and what cross-platform opportunities there are.

How hands-on will you be in projects in which you invest?

Once we have found a project of interest, we will come on board as a financing coproduction partner. Then we will work with the producer and broadcasters through the development, production and roll out stages including licensing and merchandising programmes.

Our relationship with producers is very important as their experience is a vital element in a successful collaboration and we evaluate the people as much as the IP. While we are involved in the financial and business side of the project, we leave the creative responsibility in the hands of the producers and broadcasters. Everyone involved plays to their strengths.

What are your goals as you head into your first MIPCOM?

Julio Fraile: We will be meeting and presenting GD Entertainment Fund to executives that we feel have properties that potentially meet our criteria, and we’re particularly interested in meeting with broadcasters as they may have shows in development with producers but are looking for additional finance. Our main goal is finding good content and establishing relationships and we hope to come away with substantial business leads and a solid feel for the type of projects that are out there which fit our strategy.