OTRO has welcomed global investment company Aser Ventures as its new strategic partner and shareholder. The development follows a new strategic partnership between Aser Ventures and OTRO’s current shareholder Corrum Capital Management.
Aser Ventures will take an active role in OTRO’s future commercial strategy, working closely with OTRO’s current shareholders and partners, including Corrum Capital Management and 23 Capital, a capital and solutions company focused exclusively on the sport, media and entertainment sectors.
OTRO has successfully transitioned from a subscription-based platform to a new business model as a premium content studio, creating and delivering content with some of the biggest names in football including Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr., David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane.
OTRO will now solely focus on creating original premium long, mid and short form content with its portfolio of star names, for third party streaming platforms, broadcasters, operators and telcos, in addition to its own social channels. OTRO will also work with leading figures from a range of sports and lifestyle verticals, in addition to their current football-focused partnerships.
The close working relationship between OTRO and Aser has already resulted in an agreement between OTRO and Asers’ global sports platform ELEVEN SPORTS, with ELEVEN set to broadcast OTRO programmes to fans in Belgium, Portugal and Italy
Last month OTRO was also announced as one of the launch partners for Pluto TV in Latin America, ’ fast-growing free service and a centerpiece of its evolving strategy. The studio will provide football-focused content for the Latin American launch of the OTT, which already has 22 million users in the US.
Since pivoting to their new studio and publishing model, OTRO has also seen considerable success on social media, with its YouTube channel, managed in partnership with Whistle, recently reaching 30 million views and 1.65 million subscribers since launch in October 2019. Across all platforms, OTRO’s social views have exceeded 185 million. The company is now in the process of taking its slate of long form premium content to market and has series in development with a number of their partner footballing talent, as well as with sports stars from NBA, Formula 1, NFL and the world of entertainment.
OTRO’s creative team led by newly appointed Managing Director, Claire McArdle, will work in partnership with Aser on OTRO’s future plans. Anouk Mertens, COO of Aser’s ELEVEN SPORTS Group, will support the OTRO team operationally in this transition period while Aser Chairman and Founder Andrea Radrizzani will join the OTRO Board. McArdle previously served as OTRO’s Chief Creative Officer and is former VP of Comedy Central International Studios.
Aser Ventures is an investment platform specializing in sports, media and entertainment properties. Aser is focused on opportunities where its management expertise and network can drive value for the companies it invests in and their end users. Aser’s portfolio includes Championship club Leeds United, the multi-national sports network ELEVEN SPORTS, the innovative technology start-up Sport Data Labs and the media and entertainment brand Whistle Sports. Whistle already has a strategic partnership in place with OTRO that goes back to September 2019.
In line with the studio business model, OTRO will be discontinuing their apps in the coming weeks.
Managing Director, Claire McArdle, said about the transaction: “OTRO has worked closely with its strong and supportive investment partners since its foundation, and bringing Aser Ventures into that mix with its sports industry expertise and portfolio of sports and sports media properties provides us with the strategic depth we need to leverage our strong content and talent partnerships as we execute our business model.”
Access Media Advisory (“AMA”), a specialty corporate finance and media industry advisory firm with offices in London and New York, has been advising OTRO on its transformation from subscription model to premium content model and AMA (UK) represented OTRO in its restructuring and Series A placement. AMA also assisted OTRO on its recent commercial deal with Whistle, a shared portfolio company of Aser Ventures and Corrum Capital, and will continue to advise OTRO commercially and in placing the rest of its Series A.