Backstage, a freelance marketplace connecting talent and content creators, has acquired StarNow, a New Zealand-based talent platform for actors, models, influencers and musicians; and The Mandy Network, a UK-based talent platform for cast, crew, production services and creative professionals

The acquisitions are supported by a significant strategic investment from TA Associates, a leading global growth private equity firm. Members of the Backstage senior management team invested alongside TA and hold a significant equity interest in the company. Financial terms of the transactions were not disclosed.

“From our start as a trade publication for New York theatre actors, Backstage has grown into a preeminent resource for the discovery and procurement of talent globally. We have built a deep and diverse talent database, and developed cutting-edge tools for industry professionals and today’s new breed of content creators,” says Josh Ellstein, CEO of Backstage. “The acquisitions of StarNow, with its commanding market position in Australasia, and The Mandy Network, among the largest creative communities of its kind, are in keeping with our efforts to continuously expand the depth and breadth of resources and best-in-class tools available to Backstage members. We welcome TA as an investor and look forward to a close collaboration in writing the next chapter of the Backstage story.”

Founded originally as a magazine in 1960, Backstage offers a marketplace that helps content creators connect with the talent and crew they need for visual, audio and production services, including commercials, branded content, catalog and e-commerce photography and video, independent and studio films, TV series and theatre productions. The company’s proprietary suite of workflow tools and its use of data help content creators more efficiently manage talent identification, hiring, contracting and payment. Backstage’s user base includes over 250,000 paid subscribers, such as actors, dancers, models, singers and voice-over talent; and over 20 million content creators and talent seekers — including professional casting directors, brand & acquisition marketers, production companies, advertising agencies and corporate end-users — engage with the platform annually. Backstage was fundamental to the production of 100,000-plus projects in 2020. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the company introduced an advanced remote casting solution and an all-new on-camera series featuring insights and direct feedback from industry insiders. Backstage is headquartered in New York.

Read more/Source: Private Equity Wire