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Edge invests in Franks’ TRX

David Frank launched TRX with his brother Matthew

UK venture capitalist firm Edge Investments has taken a minority stake in the company behind The RightsXchange (TRX), the online TV rights portal created by Matthew and David Frank.

Edge, which focuses on investments in companies working in the creative industries, has become a minority shareholder in Dial Square 86, the holding company for TRX. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Franks, former RDF Media founders and Zodiak Media executives, created the deal-making tool in 2015. It enables rights deals to be competed online and allows distributors to reach buyers in new international markets, which in turn get access to rights that would otherwise have been difficult to secure.

TRX soft-launched in 2016 and is preparing for a full global launch later this year.

It holds programming from firms including Sky Vision, Discovery Communications, All3Media International and Hat Trick International. TRX claims more than 350 buyers use the service to buy and sell TV rights.

The investment sees Edge join existing minority shareholders in TRX including Sky Ventures and the Channel 4 Growth Fund. It takes the total funds raised by the firm to date beyond £10m (US$13m).

Edge’s previous investments have included live events featuring major international music stars, plus children’s entertainment through The Clangers producer Coolabi.

Edge CEO David Glick said: “The launch of TRX is a genuine game-changer for television rights licensing. At Edge we have invested in TV production and content creation over many years and this one of the most exciting innovations we have witnessed as an investment team.”

Edge investment manager Jo Smith added: “Buying and selling TV rights has historically been unnecessarily complicated and inefficient.

“From our first conversation with management, we at Edge were hugely impressed by the high-calibre management team, who we believe are perfectly placed to change the way deals take place, bringing a much-needed transformation to the secondary TV rights market, whether that is content producers/owners, broadcasters or distributors.”

TRX executive chairman David Frank said: “This investment will help drive our global roll-out later this month. We have been emboldened by the positive response to our beta test and will be taking a whole raft of new features to market, helping TV rights executives close more deals, more easily.”

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