Note: Berkery Noyes represented FilmFreeway in its acquisition by Backstage.
Backstage Announces Acquisitions of FilmFreeway, Coverfly, and Voice123
Leading marketplace for today’s creators broadens offering to democratize creator economy
NEW YORK, Sept. 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Backstage, the leading freelancer marketplace and application suite for creators, announced today that it has acquired FilmFreeway, Coverfly, and Voice123, significantly expanding Backstage’s suite of content creator tools, as well as its talent pool of creative professionals.
Backstage continues to expand its array of tools for content creators organically and through acquisitions, including FilmFreeway, the leading film festival marketplace; Coverfly (owned by Industry Arts), the top platform for writers to showcase their talent; and Voice123, the largest global marketplace for professional voiceover artists. The acquisitions were supported by continued strategic investment from TA Associates, a leading global growth private equity firm.
FilmFreeway is the world’s leading film festival submissions platform, and the industry standard for how filmmakers and fans discover, submit, and get tickets to thousands of film festivals and creative contests worldwide. Coverfly delivers some of the entertainment industry’s leading software, data-aggregation, and talent-discovery services for writers, offering Backstage customers direct access to writers for their projects. Voice123 is the leading voice-over talent marketplace, which will allow users to search, sample, and hire voice talent from all over the world.
“Creative content continues to be the critical differentiating factor across the media landscape from streaming services to social user acquisition & brand ads,” said Josh Ellstein, CEO of Backstage. “With FilmFreeway, Coverfly, and Voice 123, we’ll continue building a robust toolkit to enable creators to focus on being creative.”
“The volume and velocity of content production have continued to accelerate, providing Backstage a clear opportunity to build a greater suite of services for today’s creative professionals,” said Michael Felman, President of Backstage. “Consistent with our acquisition strategy, these companies will both expand our platform into additional creative segments and allow our customers to more efficiently produce and distribute quality content at scale.”
“Backstage is the right steward for FilmFreeway. This acquisition represents a compelling opportunity to deliver further and long-lasting value and resources to our global community of creatives. During our evaluation, it became clear that Backstage has a deep appreciation for FilmFreeway’s technology as well as for the people, mission, customers and the value impact of the company,” said Andrew Lapica, Founder of FilmFreeway.
“By joining forces with Backstage, we’re able to offer even more resources to writers who are looking to take the next step in their careers and become their best creative selves. We are proud to bolster our efforts to make the entertainment industry more accessible for all through Backstage,” said Scot Lawrie, Co-Founder and President of Coverfly.
“The demand for voice-over professionals continues to rise with expanding content across areas like branded content, video games, audiobooks, and e-learning. With Backstage’s robust talent-on-demand resources, we’re able to better serve the growing professional needs of voiceovers globally,” said Rolf Veldman, CEO of Voice123.
“We are committed to supporting Backstage in expanding and building the largest global database of talent that streamlines all facets of creative production,” said Jason Mironov, a Managing Director at TA Associates and Backstage Board Member. “Amidst a paradigm shift in the creator economy, Backstage is expanding access to leave no facet of the industry unsupported. From writers to voice actors to post-production, every participant, at every stage of the creative project lifecycle can meaningfully leverage Backstage.”
Backstage has completed five acquisitions in 2021, including FilmFreeway, Coverfly, and Voice123. Earlier in the year, Backstage acquired The Mandy Network, a UK-based talent platform for cast, crew, production services, and creative professionals; and StarNow, a New Zealand-based talent platform for actors, models, influencers, and musicians.
Backstage enables productions, brands, marketing agencies, and businesses to efficiently discover and work with highly skilled creative talent. The company’s mission is to make the content creation process more efficient, effective, and scalable. Backstage fosters career development and economic success for its users by developing and operating dedicated industry-specific profiles, workflow tools, and jobs & services marketplaces to serve the unique demands of each creative vertical. Backstage was founded in 1960 and is headquartered in New York. For more information, please visit www.backstage.com.
Coverfly is the industry’s leading online platform for connecting emerging screenwriters with entertainment industry reps, dedicated to improving Hollywood’s talent-discovery process. Coverfly allows for a free and meritocratic process to identify the best emerging writing talent. The company aggregates submissions for multiple writing awards, fellowships, competitions, and festivals, as well as talent-discovery programs for studios, production companies, and awards organizations, including the Humanitas Prize, NBC Writers on the Verge, Viacom’s Nickelodeon Writers Program, The Writers Lab NYC, the Slamdance Film Festival, The Tracking Board’s Launch Pad, ScreenCraft and more. Coverfly’s free programs include Coverfly Virtual Live Reads, Coverfly Pitch Week, Coverfly Endorsed Writers Program, and Coverfly Peer Script Notes Exchange.
FilmFreeway is the world’s leading film festival marketplace and one the most visible and beloved companies in independent film, trusted by the world’s top film festivals and brands including HBO, ESPN, NBC-Universal, Lionsgate, PBS, NPR, and more. Every day, tens of thousands of filmmakers, writers, and artists use FilmFreeway to discover, submit their work and get tickets to nearly 8,000 film festivals and creative contests all over the world.
Voice123 is the world’s first and most trusted marketplace for professional voice actors. It provides a dynamic, enjoyable, and nuisance-free online platform where it’s easy to find the right voice for every conceivable voice-over need. For more information, visit www.voice123.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.