Sunshine, which bills itself as a brand and entertainment consultancy and production studio, has secured a multimillion-dollar investment to expand its business in the US and China.
The investment, which is less than $5 million, came from Michael Dolan, the former chief executive of Bacardi and ex-chairman and chief executive of IMG Worldwide; Adam Zhu, who was most recently chairman for Greater China and special chief executive advisor at Bacardi; and Chinese brand consultancy Shunya.
Sunshine will use the investment to develop new entertainment properties, expand resources in the Los Angeles division and build a presence in Beijing. There will be a particular focus on growing in Asia to serve Sunshine’s clients in the region and working with Asian brands both domestically and in North America and Europe.
Ed Warren, who joined Sunshine from Creature last year as chief creative officer, has moved from London to Los Angeles. He has global creative oversight but the move means that he will have more of a focus on North America.
As part of the changes, Sunshine has closed its New York office. The branch was set up to serve A&E Networks, which is no longer a client. Amel Monsur, chief creative officer at the New York office, and Will Misselbrook, managing director and senior vice-president of content, who were both hired by Sunshine at the start of 2018, have left.
Sunshine now has 42 full-time staff in London and eight in LA. It reported 68 employees in Campaign’s 2018 School Reports. Sunshine says its numbers fluctuate depending on how many freelancers it needs for projects.
Katie Lee, the former managing director of Sunshine, left in July to join Y&R London. Mel Exon, the group chief executive, is currently on a three-month sabbatical.
On the new investment, Sunshine co-founder Kit Hawkins said: "We’re delighted to have successfully closed our first round of funding with a team of hugely experienced and dynamic individuals in whom we have found real, mutual strategic value. This investment validates a new model of brand and entertainment company."
Sunshine president Jenna Barnet added: "The dynamic changes in the on-demand entertainment and tech landscapes in Los Angeles have created fantastic opportunities for fashion, luxury and lifestyle brands to engage in new ways in the market."
Founded in 2012 by Hawkins and Al MacCuish, Sunshine most recently co-produced Off Script, a nine-part entertainment series for Grey Goose fronted by Jamie Foxx and featuring Dwayne Johnson, Denzel Washington, Chadwick Boseman and Melissa McCarthy.