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CAA Raising $150M-$200M Venture Fund With Draper; ICM Talking To Qualcomm Among Others

imageCreative Artists Agency, the biggest talent agency in Hollywood, is raising a $150 million-$200 million venture capital fund to invest in startups in the digital/entertainment sector, has learned. For this fund, it is working with Draper Fisher Jurvetson and its founder Tim Draper, who has always had a particular soft spot for entertainment-related projects. Brian Garrett and Rick Smith, former partners at Palomar Ventures, and Brett Brewer, former president of Intermix, are working with Michael Yanover, head of business development at CAA. The money for the fund is coming from traditional VC LPs, among others, our sources say….both Garrett and Smith were trying to raise the fund privately before CAA and DFJ came into the picture. Lots more after the jump..

CAA has been working closely with FunnyorDie, the comedy video sharing site founded by Will Ferrell and funded by Sequoia, though it doesn’t have an investment in the venture.

Meanwhile, we have also learned of an effort by Jeff Berg, CEO of the rival agency ICM, who has been talking to an unlikely source for a fund: Paul Jacobs, CEO of Qualcomm. ICM has been looking at raising the fund since late last year. Berg’s involvement in the typical tech environs is interesting as he has been on the board of Oracle since 1997.

Other agencies like UTA and William Morris have been investing in startups, and this points to the changing dynamics of the traditional agency business. WMA just invested and helped launch a new vertical ad program, Giant Realm, to offer major brands a one-stop shop for reaching 16- to 34-year-old male fans of video games, e-sports, anime and indie music. UTA recently incubated a digital video firm called 60Frames, involved in financing, ad sales and syndication of

4 Responses to “CAA Raising $150M-$200M Venture Fund With Draper; ICM Talking To Qualcomm Among Others”

  1. church lewis

    I talked with Jeremy Zimmer at UTA about this trend and some of their initiatives in the spring. For 60Frames, they raised money from Tudor Ventures. Linking traditional and new media has precedent in NewsCorp-MySpace and many other acquisitions. Linking traditional media intermediaries and new media ventures is an experiment, but a good one since proven professionals in the talent game can combine that experience with the spontaneity of new media innovations and the technologies making it possible to create and circulate content at much lower cost.

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  3. These never work. Agencies are in the transactional business and are all about getting top dollar for their clients which they do exceedingly well. They are ot investors/builders of companies/long-term thinkers. If the agency is actually contributing it's own capital then I would at least give it a chance, but that rarely if ever happens. Agencies also don't generate deal flow–they introduce talent to sources of capital.. THese are doomed from the start