The Chernin Group is buying a controlling interest in Crunchyroll, the Web video site that specializes in selling subscriptions to Japanese animation.
People familiar with the transaction said Peter Chernin’s investor group is buying a majority stake in a deal that will value Crunchyroll at something less than $100 million.
A rep for Chernin declined to comment.
The San Francisco-based company had raised a reported $5 million from investors including Venrock and broadcaster/producer TV Tokyo. After the deal, TV Tokyo will still have a stake in the company, along with Crunchyroll managers, including CEO Kun Gao.
Chernin, the former chief operating officer at News Corp., has made a variety of bets on both Web video companies (see: Fullscreen) – and companies that specialize in Asian markets (see: CA Media).
The Crunchyroll deal neatly ties together both themes: The company has more than 200,000 subscribers paying up to $7 a month, primarily for Japanese anime.