EIKON is a global leader in digital content post-production, founded in 2014. Five Co-Founders, including CEO Peter Wright, launched the business in 2014, after working together successfully at film production company Deluxe, combining skill sets such as finance, commercial, 3D and visual effects. All are still heavily involved in the business, and ready to move into the next chapter of growth.
A Chartered Certified Accountant, Peter Wright’s CV features some of the biggest names in media and entertainment, such as MTV, which he expanded from a single UK channel to 40 distinct channels across Europe. He led the launch and growth of Deluxe from 2007 to 2013, growing turnover from £5m to £42m. With a knack for getting the best out of clients, partners and teams, Wright co-founded EIKON fuelled by a drive to innovate and be the best in the market at mastering, localising and delivering film content.
After largely self-funding the business for the first four years, its phenomenal growth meant it was time to look at other options. Dismissing trade sale offers motivated by a desire to not be “part of a big corporate machine”, says Peter, private equity emerged as the best way to continue growing in the right way.
EIKON’s first foray into private equity led to seven offers and a three-way bidding war, with a deal closed in March 2018. The whirlwind success of this first year led Peter and his management team to seek another private equity partner with more capital to fund technology investment and expansion plans for its LA facilities to meet surging client demand.
Its company culture is EIKON’s “lifeblood”, adds Peter, meaning there’s been a protection element to selecting the right investment partner.”
“We’ve been massively protective of who we allow to join us, and Tenzing took time to understand our culture,” Peter explains. “We’re a media business and a business in the entertainment industry, and having people who understood that was really important, as opposed to people who were just going to assess everything on a balance sheet.
“Obviously that’s phenomenally important to the health and wealth of a business, but at the same time you need people to understand that there are a lot of variances in our business – it’s not all straight line growth. It’s helpful to have a partner who is more amenable and flexible, because it gives you that extra energy.”
On a mission to be the market leader and best in class everywhere they operate, Peter knows the importance of focusing on what’s core to EIKON and where it can add real value. Such drive requires a committed, aligned investment partner.
“We invest heavily in the software, the technology and the workflow to ensure we’re always streets ahead of everyone else. So the whole market knows that if you come to EIKON, you are going to get the best quality output and the best service,” Peter states.
Committed to being at the forefront of innovation, EIKON has some of the most technically advanced facilities in Europe with state-of-the-art digital cinema facilities in London and Los Angeles and it has developed software products in hosted workflow, campaign management and licensing.
EIKON has grown rapidly built on a reputation for service, quality and security. EIKON partners with major Hollywood studios and global streaming platforms, and has worked on global releases including Ad Astra, Gemini Man and Joker.
“EIKON was born on a blank piece of paper, and that was the way to do it, as we had over six years of hindsight experience from a previous company in the same market sector, and with hindsight, we could work out what we would do differently, and better,” Peter reflects.
“It was a new market, moving from film to digital, so it was all about the technology – if we could build robust systems, and robust software and technology, then we could focus all of our time and energy on great customer service, so that’s exactly what we’ve done.”
Tenzing is providing significant growth capital to further invest in the company’s digital screening facilities. EIKON is also drawing on Tenzing’s tech growth ecosystem, including the expertise of former Entrepreneurs Panel member Bill Collis in global visual effects software, to accelerate growth and increase product depth.
Tenzing’s investment has been split into two phases – an initial boost for the business which helped develop new software, then another earmarked for US expansion once conditions are right.