In a sector where creativity is at the centre of business, Tuvalu Media is a Dutch company that creates and produces cross-media concepts for public and commercial broadcasters, businesses, governments or non-profit organizations.
Focused on TV production, the company develops the ideas behind various shows, ranging from drama series to documentaries, which are produced, sold and licenced internationally to the likes of Discovery Channel, National Geographic and most recently even the BBC.
In 2013 Karmijn Kapitaal, a Dutch investment fund backed by EIF, made an important equity investment and became a key partner for Tuvalu Media after a chance encounter led to a meeting of minds with Tuvalu’s CEO Taco Zimmerman. “It was a great partnership. They guided us and supported us while fully respecting our expertise in our field,” Taco says. “At the same time they challenged us a lot. They basically gave us a mirror to look into, highlighting difficult decisions that had to be made in order to optimize the business. Sometimes you need someone from outside to wake you up and help you grow.”
The entrepreneurial know-how and the expertise in areas like finance and commercial practices was crucial to Tuvalu’s growth: “Our identity as a company remained intact, but we improved our processes, and over the last three years we’ve had our best results ever.”
This successful growth was also reflected in the events of 2017, when Taco decided to sell the company and no fewer than eight different companies expressed an interest in buying. “In the end we decided to make a deal with a French media company” explains Taco, who remained as a shareholder and CEO of the company, “We always felt like we had European DNA, and we wanted to remain in the EU moving forward. Travelling to Paris every week isn’t that bad either…”
Company: Tuvalu Media (Netherlands)
Type of business: media
EIF financing: CIP GIF 2; RCR, Dutch Venture Initiative
Financial intermediary: Karmijn Kapitaal