Two Amazon and Netflix alums have raised $1 million for their fintech startup that aims to disrupt entertainment and production financing

  • Conduiit, a fintech startup looking to disrupt the entertainment industry, has raised $1 million in pre-seed funding.
  • Fiat Ventures and Aperture Venture Capital co-led the round.
  • Jigsaw Productions and Partially Important Productions are among Conduiit’s clients.

Conduiit, a fintech startup that promises to save entertainment companies time and money by centralizing their production finance operations, has received a $1 million pre-seed investment.

Fiat Ventures and Aperture Venture Capital co-led the round. Collide Capital and Japanese angel investor and actor Hiro Mizushima also contributed.

Shawn Hamilton, cofounder and CEO, was working as a production accountant at Amazon from 2015 to 2017 when he had the “light bulb moment” that led to the idea for Conduiit. He saw how production companies were using a mishmash of services to manage day-to-day transactions, as well as managing individual productions in silos, which resulted in lost time and wasted money.

“The production finance space was very far behind,” Hamilton admitted. “I thought something needed to be done.” Jason Thurman, Hamilton’s cofounder, is a former Netflix product manager who has also worked for Disney and HBO Max (now Max).

Conduiit, which charges on a SaaS basis, provides production companies with access to all of their compliance, management, accounting, and payment tools from a single platform. Conduiit, according to Hamilton, can save a company 30 hours of labor per week.

So far, the firm has managed $70 million in transactions for 200 clients such as Jigsaw Productions, Laylow Productions, and Partially Important Productions, whose shows include “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.”

Hamilton intends to use the new funds to integrate more features into Conduiit’s platform, such as payment processing and the ability to apply for state tax breaks. He hopes to expand the platform beyond movie and television projects in the future, citing similarities in the production process.

Conduiit, according to Drew Glover, general partner at Fiat Ventures, fits Fiat’s interest in fintech startups that are disrupting industries like entertainment that have been slow to innovate. He was impressed by Hamilton’s perseverance in fundraising during the twin Hollywood labor strikes and the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, which stifled the startup funding pipeline.

“There are two Black founders in a world that doesn’t have a lot of them,” Glover said of Hamilton and Thurman. “At Fiat, we also believe that founders from all backgrounds can come in and build all kinds of companies.” So we were very proud to be able to find such an incredible company with such tenacious founders.”

According to Crunchbase data analyzed by TechCrunch, only about 1% of venture funding in 2022 went to Black startup founders.

Hamilton believes that the strikes and retrenchment taking place in Hollywood as media conglomerates try to make streaming profitable will benefit Conduiit.

“It was a tough time to raise money,” Hamilton admitted. “However, in the end, we were successful.” We assisted our venture capital partners in comprehending the issue. My belief is that the strikes highlight the issues we’re addressing, thus supporting our thesis. It’s difficult to make changes when things are going well.”

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