Creative 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, paidContent.org 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