On November 2, 2021, UK-headquartered media localization provider ZOO Digital announced a strategic investment in ARES Media, a media localization company based in Istanbul, Turkey, and the launch of ZOO Turkey.
ARES Media provides Turkish language services including subtitling and dubbing, as well as access and post-production services, for TV shows and movies. Founded in 2000, ARES has been ZOO’s “operational partner” since 2017, and has experience working with ZOO technology.
The total and terms of the investment were not disclosed. However, a number of brokerage firms that cover ZOO Digital said they believe the cash investment to be immaterial. Singer Capital Markets said they believe ZOO has acquired a minority stake in ARES, and that ARES’ revenues are minimal in relation to ZOO’s topline.
The ARES investment will expand ZOO’s services for Turkish content as well as its operations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA region). ZOO has its headquarters in Sheffield, UK, offices in Los Angeles and Dubai, and employs more than 300 people globally at present.
As to why Turkey appealed as a location for a regional hub, ZOO said, “the trend of acquiring local Turkish content for distribution on global streaming services is not slowing down,” making Turkey a buoyant market for ZOO’s customers from which to source new content.
Moreover, the company noted, “ZOO Turkey will enable the business to access local talent and facilities in the region, as well as provide greater capacity to handle higher volumes of work at a faster rate, and access competitive pricing in all key languages.”
Discussing plans for their international expansion in July 2021, ZOO said they have ramped up hiring for their Dubai office, are planning to establish new hubs in India and Southeast Asia, and have signed a major new customer in the Middle East. In September 2021, the company said the first announcement around international expansion would be made shortly.
ZOO described the Turkey announcement as the “first phase in its global growth strategy” and company CEO Stuart Green said “the launch of ZOO Turkey marks the first of several strategic investments to grow our global footprint in key territories.”
ZOO is set to announce half-year financial results on November 10, 2021.