Big news everyone! Seedwell has been acquired by Portal A, a leading creative studio that develops, produces and distributes original and branded content designed for the web.
Founded in 2008 by Beau Lewis, Peter Furia, and David Fine, Seedwell has built a track record for producing videos that reach a massive online audience. Our work has helped us earn the trust of clients such as Nike, Google, Microsoft, Pepsi, and HTC. In 2012, YouTube hired us to produce YouTube Rewind, an internet blockbuster featuring Psy that received more than 125 million views.
With the purchase of Seedwell, Portal A greatly expands its production capabilities, client relationships, and digital footprint, including Seedwell.com and a YouTube presence with over 175 million views and 60,000 subscribers. The acquisition of Seedwell – an early pioneer in online video – adds to Portal A’s array of work with high profile clientele seeking the studio’s irreverent style, humor, and expertise for online video content.
The purchase comes amidst a growing trend of consolidation around YouTube and web video. A few recent examples include Maker Studio’s recent acquisition of the video network Blip, YouTube’s purchase of Next New Networks, The Collective’s acquisition of Metacafe, Dreamworks acquisition of AwesomenessTV, or Discovery’s purchase of Revision3.
As multichannel networks and studios responsible for managing YouTube talent combine forces with their competitors, so too are firms responsible for producing creative content for the platform. Portal A’s purchase represents yet another example of this trend – as the online video industry continues to mature, only a handful of leaders will stay at the forefront.
“The branded content Seedwell has produced has reached literally hundreds of millions of people online,” said Zach Blume, a partner at Portal A. “There are very few companies out there with an understanding of YouTube and an expertise in producing and distributing branded content for the web, and Seedwell is one of them. This acquisition continues to solidify Portal A’s position as a leader in the field.”
Seedwell’s founding partners will continue to contribute to Portal A’s growth. David Fine, a Seedwell co-founder, will continue to direct key Portal A projects. Peter Furia and Beau Lewis, also Seedwell co-founders, will remain involved as advisors, contributing in key creative, production and business decisions moving forward. Former Seedwell employees will continue to work with Portal A on a contract basis.
Seedwell has worked with brands like Google, Pepsi, Microsoft, HTC and Nike to create viral branded content that has reached hundreds of millions of online viewers. Their work has been covered repeatedly in Mashable, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, Advertising Age and more. In 2012, Seedwell produced a feature documentary, Salaam Dunk, that won awards at festivals internationally. Seedwell later received funding from YouTube’s original programming initiative to create an original YouTube network called “American Hipster”, documenting pop culture through the lens of hipsterism.
With the purchase, Portal A will have ongoing opportunities to take on signature YouTube projects like Rewind, which Seedwell produced last year and Portal A will produce in 2013.
“Becoming a part of Portal A is a natural next step for Seedwell and we’re very excited for the transition. Our two companies have been trailblazing in online video for years and we’re excited to finally join forces,” said co-founder Peter Furia. “Remember when the transformers formed like Voltron? That’s what this feels like,” added co-founder Beau Lewis.
Portal A creates original and branded content designed for the web. Its clientele includes major brands, platforms, and causes such as YouTube, Microsoft, Intel, Mashable, Google, L’Oreal, Jawbone, Ploughshares Fund, and Banana Republic. In a recent profile, Wired Magazine wrote that “after a string of web hits, Portal A, more than any other creative firm, has cracked the code of online video. The San Francisco studio’s music videos, web documentaries, and online satires have time and again charmed notoriously finicky online viewers, the press, and, most important, Portal A’s clients.” The firm’s work is featured regularly in outlets like Mashable, Wired, BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, Fast Company, Adweek and TechCrunch. Portal A recently sold its web series White Collar Brawler – a 25-episode reality web show – to NBC’s new premium channel Esquire. It will be airing on the network this winter.
Portal A is profitable, privately owned and operated, and its revenue – driven exclusively from branded online video content – has increased by over 150% in each of the last three years, solidifying its position as a leader in the online video space. It now has 15 employees based in its two offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The similar background of the Seedwell and Portal A – both started by childhood friends, and both early leaders in the field of branded online video content – make the transaction a natural step forward for both studios, who have supported each other since their founding.
About Portal A
Portal A is a creative studio with offices in San Francisco in Los Angeles that develops, produces, and distributes video content built for the web. The firm integrates creative development, a full production studio, and online distribution strategy all in-house.