Israeli startup Interlude raises $50-100m from Sony

Yoni Bloch

Interlude CEO Yoni Bloch tells "Globes" about the aim of the new strategic cooperation with Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Last week Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) announced that it had invested in Israeli startup Interlude. No financial details were disclosed but CEO and cofounder Yoni Bloch has said, "We are talking about tens of millions of dollars."

Sources believe that the investment is $50-$100 million and in addition Sony and Interlude will collaborate in developing entertainment content that will be distributed on Interlude's platform.

With offices in New York and Tel Aviv, Interlude is a media and technology company that is pioneering a new kind of video that responds to a person’s emotions and interests. The company has raised $38.2 million to date including an $18.2 million financing round in December 2015 from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Warner Music Group, Samsung, Sequoia Capital and Intel Capital. The company, which has developed the Eko interactive storytelling platform, has 60 employees, half of them in Israel.

Bloch, 34, began his musical career when he was 21. He has recorded three albums and produced albums for other singers and even managed a stint as a guest judge on the Israeli TV talent show A Star is Born. Then in 2009 he decided to pursue a career in high-tech and he founded Interlude with CTO Tal Zubalsky and Barak Feldman.

The Eko platform changes audience passivity by enabling creators to easily script and craft stories that can be shaped by the viewer based on a range of options and their preferences.

Bloch said, "This is a language that most young producers have been waiting for. They have been looking for a new language and through our technology they can realize it."

Globes: What is the aim of the cooperation with Sony?

Bloch, "To produce interactive series that exploit technology to tell a story that couldn't be told in a linear way."

What is new at the company since your last financing round?

"The company has grown particularly on the technology side. Our videos play on iPhones and Androids and through virtual reality. Our most recent strategic fund raising ensures that the world's best quality content producers work and invest in content on our medium."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 20, 2016

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2016

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