DFR Asia Ltd, Asia’s first Digital Media Venture Studio, today announced that the company has closed its first round of outside equity financing. Investors included leading Asian network services and technology firm Internet Initiative Japan Inc., entertainment industry leader On the Line, and other backers. Terms of the financing were not disclosed.
The funding will be used to expand DFR’s venture studio model for digital media in Asia. Under the globally emerging, post-incubator studio model for launching and growing new startup ventures, firms such as DFR who are expert in the startup lifecycle conceive, build, and assume ownership and execution responsibility for new ventures from inception. The studio approach stands in contrast to traditional incubators and accelerators, which typically support a much larger number of startup ventures with some combination of group training and “boot camp” programs, shared back office services, and limited initial seed financing for small minority equity stakes.
DFR is the first venture studio in the world to focus exclusively on digital media, and the first to be established in and for Asia—home to several of the world’s most dynamic and fastest growing digital media markets.
DFR will continue to be managed by long-time media and technology veterans John Possman and Rick Myers. With more than forty years of experience in key Asian markets between them, Possman and Myers have been investors in and backers of numerous digital media ventures seeing successful IPOs and trade sales across Asia.
“Our new backers bring serious additional horsepower to DFR’s venture studio model,” said John Possman, CEO of DFR. “The combination of their incredibly deep domain expertise together with new venture growth opportunity from DFR we believe is extremely powerful.”
Companies already launched by DFR across Asia under their studio model include new ventures in media metrics and analytics, online market research, in-store media, consumer data mining, online advertising, digital music services, and user engagement, among others.