In mid-April I wrote an article on this blog about how 2023 started with big plans for Vent d’Est, the startup specialized in the production of video content inspired by Eastern European stories. Because the business had reached the stage where it needed capital to develop further, at the beginning of this year the company opened its capital to other investors through a capital increase operation.
Today I am more than pleased to announce that on July 28th, we successfully closed the capital increase. Hence, with the financial support of 19 investors, the capital we managed to raise is very close to the objective we set when we decided to make this operation. The entire amount will be used for the development of new film projects. The total amount will be used to develop new film projects.
Despite the challenging economic context characterised by a downward trend of the increase capital operations, and the holiday time for many businesspeople, the entire process of signing and completed the investment contracts was very fluent. This made me so proud of my investment team who believed in Vent d’Est concept and I am deeply thankful for their trustworthiness. In a period dominated by fewer capital increases, Vent d’Est managed to attract a group of investors of a remarkable size.
They are all exceptional professionals and strategists with expertise in a wide range of fields. As the filmmaking industry requires diverse professional skills, their diverse expertise is a strong differentiator for this business and a crucial factor in its success in the filmmaking industry.
Eric Goiun, Marius Istrate, Alexandre Mironesco, Benjamin Cernes, Frédéric Malot, Cornel Fătulescu, Raluca Ghiciușcă și Sergiu Cumatrenco Jr are among those who chose to invest in Vent d’Est. Last but not least, the French director and screen writer of Romanian origin, Radu Mihaileanu joined us as Artistic Advisor. “I am very pleased with my new collaboration with Ruxandra Serban as Artistic and Production Advisor at Vent d’Est. Together we will develop impressive Eastern and Western projects, with a little wind of East. I wish to have a successful journey together,” says Radu Mihaileanu.
Eric GOUIN –he is a business strategist with a wide experience in startup development and strategic investments
Marius ISTRATE – he is former Chief People Officer at UI Path and currently invests in many European and American startups. He is also a limited partner in venture capital funds and also a valuable partner for Vent d’Est.
Alexandre MIRONESCO – he is an investment banker of Romanian origin, arrived in France at the age of 15. Despite that throughout his activity he got involved in several businesses of different sizes, he said to me that Vent d’Est was the first business managed by a Romanian entrepreneur or that has a connection with Romania, in which he had had the courage to invest in. Benjamin CERNES – he is an investment banker and business strategy consultant. He wrote a book dedicated to fundraising initiatives, “La levée de fonds”. Throughout his grandfather, a remarkable phisician who left Romania in the 60s, he is of Romanian origin.
Frédéric MALOT – he is an entrepreneur who founded the Rue de la Paye company, which he later sold it to the Cegedim company. He is currently active in real estate investments in France.
Cornel FĂTULESCU – he has an extensive experience in e-business and e-commerce consulting, technology due-diligence in the tech sector, as well as leadership experience in large organizations and teams of technology specialists.
Raluca GHICIUȘCĂ – with a professional experience of 15 years in the financial field, Raluca has coordinated many local and international projects in various fields of activity in recent years, accumulating a vast professional experience in the field of local and international accounting regulations.
Sergiu CUMATRENCO JR. – he is an entrepreneur in audiovisual sector in the Republic of Moldova and co-producer of the Doua Lozuri 2 film. I would also want to thank to the French legal office Lexelians – led by Irina Șerban – which has been involved thorughout the process and managed it at the highest professional stanadards through Maud Sorel. My gratitude goes also to Ilinca Paun from Bravva Business Angels club, Andreea Saia from Wit Angels and Angela Golovco from Ouest-East consultancy company (a business which aims to contribute to the development of economic relations between France and Republic of Moldova). Last but not least I want to thank to my family who supported me in everything I’ve done in this project. With such an amazing team which gathers specialists with different professional backgrounds, I am convinced that we can do extraordinary things together. So, welcome everyone in the Vent d’Est family and I am lucky to have such a good and strong team with me! Opinion: Marius Istrate, investor in Vent d’Est:
“For many years, the Romanian film industry has been quite tight. The majority of the consumers linked the “Romanian film” concept with a film enlisted in various festivals and which is hard to digest and difficult to watch in the cinemas. For that reason, local productions gathered rather a limited local and international audience, the so called “hardcore” movie fans than common audiences. Romanian productions saw a lack of some ingredients useful to propel them in the industry so that they can compete with Polish, Turkish or Coreean productions. Either we talk about films or series, Vent d’Est meets several major criteria:
- Ruxandra Serban has an extensive business experience – she founded and led ERKA communication agency for almost 20 years and knows how to run a successful business. Hence, Vent d’Est is not her first entrepreneurial endeavor. Plus, she was involved in different local productions in the last years, being passionate about cinema. For this reason, Vent d’Est is a declination of her passion into a scalable business.
- The “film factory” approach, inspired from the tech industry. We have a set of scenarios considered to be attractive (many of them inspired from the social and historical realities of Romania). Few of them are written and evaluated. As a result of the evaluation process, about 20-25% of them are develped and produced. In addition, Vent d’Est makes a “pairing” between the foreign, experienced screen writers and the Romanian ones, in order to inject more know-how on the local market. Once included in the development and production phase, a project is less expensive and Romania still offers exceptional locations with attractive prices.
- The business is thought to capitalize many revenue streams. First, we have a Romanian audience which wants to go to cinema and watch adorable local productions (e.g. the successful “Team Building” and “Taximetriști”). Some of such productions could be exported. Yet, there is also an international audience which appreciates original stories offered by digital streaming platforms like Netflix / HBOMax / Disney+ / SkyShowtime. To conclude, there is a several years life cycle for each film, a period of time when it could be “serially” monetized: in the cinemas, regionally – on streaming platforms (country by country) – or globally – for the best productions. Hence, the business model proposed by Vent d’Est is closer to a venture capital business model. There is a need for one production to know a global success so that Vent d’Est to be able to deliver an “outsized result” for its investors. But till that “unicorn” to come, Vent d’Est can deliver value for the market and reinvest, create and consolidate teams of film producers, screen writers, film directors, technical staff, actors which can offer a certain pace and predictability.