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Netflix subsidiary signs $100 mil. deal with Seoul for new production studio

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Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon, left, and Eyeline Studios CEO Stephan Trojansky sign an MOU at Conrad Seoul Hotel, Monday, through which the Netflix subsidiary will invest $100 million in the city to introduce a new special effects video production studio. Yonhap
Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon, left, and Eyeline Studios CEO Stephan Trojansky sign an MOU at Conrad Seoul Hotel, Monday, through which the Netflix subsidiary will invest $100 million in the city to introduce a new special effects video production studio. Yonhap

By Ko Dong-hwan

Eyeline Studios, a subsidiary of global video streaming giant Netflix, has signed a deal with Seoul City to invest $100 million to introduce in the Korean capital a new video production studio that promises hundreds of new job opportunities.

The investment will be made over the next five years to introduce the U.S. firm's new special effects production studio in the city, which is expected to create jobs for at least 200 local Korean artists. The new facility, according to the MOU signed on Monday, will also embrace aspiring video producers under its educational goals to teach about the company's reputed high-end digital production technologies such as real-time filmmaking software, LED volumetric capture and machine-learning algorithms.

Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon and Eyeline Studios CEO Stephan Trojansky signed the deal at Conrad Seoul Hotel in Yeouido. Netflix Vice President of Production Strategy and Operations Jeffrey Roth and Netflix Director of Production Strategy and Resources Planning Jeffrey Shapiro also attended.

The deal is expected to strengthen the triangular ties between the Seoul Metropolitan Government, Eyeline Studios and Netflix to improve the country's digital media industry, according to the city's independent global investment promoter Invest Seoul and the Finance and Investment Division under the government's Economic Policy Office.

Aside from the event, the city government and Korea Investment and Securities co-hosted the Seoul Investors Forum on Monday, in which 21 investment companies from around the world met the city's 28 blue-chip tech firms in the industries of semiconductors, fintech, IT, biohealthcare, autonomous vehicle and drones.

Venture capitals including America's NEA, China's Fosun Capital and Japan's SBI Investment, plus private equity funds like France's Eurazeo and corporate venture capitals such as Applied Ventures and HP Tech Ventures from the U.S. were among the firms that joined the event looking for companies to invest in. SemiFive, a rising unicorn firm that designs semiconductors, clean-tech developer Grinergy, autonomous driving tech developer Seoul Robotics and 3D printing biohealthcare firm Rokit Healthcare were among the city's local firms with outstanding technologies that joined the event to woo the investors.

Organized by Invest Seoul, the two-day event showed how to resolve the ongoing global financial woes reflected through slow and poor investments, with investors from different continents taking the stage to lead panel discussions. Bloomberg Korea on Tuesday is set to provide a lecture on the ongoing trends in international mergers and acquisitions, while Seoul-based law firm Seum is set to give an outlook for foreign investors in Korea on the same day.

The Seoul Investors Forum is the first global event organized by Invest Seoul to draw foreign investments since its establishment in February this year. Economic Policy Office Chief Hwang Bo-yeon said Invest Seoul has organized the forum to help nurture local firms under financial threat bound by stagnant investment or in dire need of foreign investments by connecting them with investors from within the country and abroad.

"Even after the event, Invest Seoul will spare no time and money in matching corporations and investors and helping their meetings ripen into something valuable," the chief said.


Ko Dong-hwan aoshima11@koreatimes.co.kr


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