Hollywood: The ex-Amazon employee helping production companies with his fintech startup that raised $1M

Abu Mubarik February 19, 2024
Shawn Hamilton, CEO, Conduiit. Photo: Linkedin/Conduiit

Shawn Hamilton and Jason Thurman are the founders of Conduiit, a fintech startup whose aim is to save entertainment companies time and money by centralizing their production finance operations, according to Business Insider.

“Our platform, Conduiit, provides digital workflows, SaaS and DaaS solutions for our users,” Hamilton said. “We also offer budgeting, scheduling, cost tracking and cash flow management guidance at both the project and corporate level. We are well-versed in NYC labor law, union provisions, and industry standard agreements.”

Hamilton founded the business with Thurman, a former Netflix product manager who also worked for Disney and Max (formerly known as HBO Max) in the past. Hamilton worked as a production accountant at Amazon from 2015 to 2017, when he got the idea to start the fintech after seeing how production companies wasted time in managing transactions.

With Conduiit, they are hoping to transform the entertainment industry. The duo tactically raised $1 million in pre-seed funding last year to streamline production finance for film and television studios. According to Business Insider, Fiat Ventures, Aperture Venture Capital, Collide Capital, and Japanese angel investor Hiro Mizushima all co-led the round.

“There are two black founders in a world that doesn’t have a lot of them,” Fiat Ventures General Partner Drew Glover said. “At Fiat, we’re also big believers that founders from all backgrounds have the ability to come in and build all kinds of companies. So we were really proud to be able to find a really incredible company with dogged founders.”

Only about 1 percent of venture funding goes to Black startup founders. Conduiit’s fundraising was during the Hollywood strikes and Hamilton and his co-founder feared they might not succeed.

“It was a tough time to raise money,” Hamilton recalled. “But ultimately, we were successful. We helped our VC partners understand the problem. My belief is that the strikes highlight the problems we’re solving, so they support our thesis. It’s very hard to change things when they’re going well.”

Meanwhile, Conduiit has so far managed to oversee $70 million in transactions for 200 clients. Some of the clients include Jigsaw Productions, Laylow Productions, and Partially Important Productions, and they are hoping to use their new funds to “integrate more functions into Conduiit’s platform, like payments and the ability to apply for state tax incentives.”

Hamilton is also hoping to expand his platform beyond movie and TV projects to video games, he said.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: February 19, 2024


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