Apr 5, 2016, Press Release
Many of you have requested that I formally introduce both myself and my plans for Emaji, Inc. ("Emaji").
As many of you know, on January 1, 2016, I took over the leadership of Emaji and, on February 11, 2016, became the Company's controlling stockholder. The company's former CEO is no longer a stockholder of any sort nor holds any debt, convertible or otherwise, in the Company.
This is a personal letter from me to you to give some insight into the direction of the Company and some of my philosophy behind it. It does not contain any explosive announcements.
It is now time to focus and build a business. In the quarterly return ending September 30, 2015, Emaji described itself as "a development stage company with three divisions: Sports, Entertainment and Ventures." Personally, I have only marginal experience in the business of sports and toys and so Emaji will discontinue both its efforts to establish a sports business as well as the Netoy.com initiative in its Ventures division.
We will focus on the business of entertainment. Historically, I would have described it as the business of film and television but technology has and continues to so radically transform it that calling it the business of entertainment seems more apt.
As we look to build Emaji into a respectable industry player, I feel that this is an exciting time.
Balance Sheet Restructuring
As can be gleaned from recent press releases, the Company has worked hard to clean up its balance sheet and improve its share structure. The changes have been drastically positive. Since January 1, 2014, the Company has reduced almost 98 percent of its debt while at the same time reducing its share count by over 20 percent. No new shares have been issued since October 19, 2015. A summary of these efforts will be found in the upcoming annual report for the year 2015.
It is important to be diligent in taking our next steps. Decisions have to be made with the proper preparation and reflection. I understand from experience how much the correction of mistakes can consume in terms of time, energy and resources. This may well prove frustrating to investors seeking more immediate gratification. We may not be the company for them. However, I feel that we are well on our way to building a future:
Initial Capital Raise
We have announced and filed for an initial capital raise of US$ 400,000. To date, we have raised US$ 67,500 in return for common shares to be issued at a price of 0.0002 per share. A further US$ 45,000 has been committed on the same terms. The funds have come from long-term investors who have outstanding track records in the business of entertainment and bring a wealth of insight and relationships. Further details will be found in the upcoming annual report. This initial capital raise has strategic importance for the Company and will establish a strong foundation.
Investment in Technology
Technology has and continues to revolutionize everything we do. The entertainment industry has been far from immune against these changes. Any company wishing to thrive in the current competitive headwinds needs technology to operate efficiently and cost-effectively.
I have gained extensive experience in designing custom-built software to improve both the way an entertainment business functions as well as the way a consumer experiences content. Fierce Entertainment, LLC ("Fierce"), the company I formed in 2001, has made significant investments into software development to address these challenges. I expect Emaji to continue this effort and to acquire Fierce's rights database and working technology at some point in the future.
Corporate Growth and Acquisitions
We will grow the company both organically as well as through acquisitions. In terms of the latter, we are in advanced discussions with a European-based global distributor of content with offices in several key countries. There is no guarantee that we will be able to close a transaction but we look forward to working with them in building a joint future.
In terms of production, we will focus on two genres: Horror and Action. This is not to say that we will not consider projects outside of these two genres but they will serve as the backbone to our slate. Horror films tend to have lower budgets. In order to stand out from the clutter, we will focus on recognizable franchises, the first two of which the Company has already announced: The Howling and Strangeland. Action films will feature much more substantial budgets and will thus require brand name stars to justify their cost. In the past, I have produced, executive produced or associate produced films with Jason Statham, Jet Li, Nicolas Cage, Sylvester Stallone and other stars. All of my future production efforts will run through Emaji as long as I continue at the helm.
Building an Entertainment Library
Asset-ownership is a cornerstone of any successful entertainment business plan and as such we will be looking to build an extensive library of entertainment content. Acquisitions opportunities abound. We are currently evaluating a number of older film and television titles to purchase.
One of the most exciting developments in the feature film business outside of technological transformation has been the staggering growth of the Chinese marketplace. Next year, Chinese box office revenue is expected to exceed that of the United States. Over the past few months, we have worked with a partner, who is also one of our investors, to develop relationships in China, a market that has an insatiable appetite for entertainment product.
On the 18th of April, I will return to China to attend the Beijing Film Festival. I will keep you apprised of any new developments there. To an independent producer willing to spend the time to understand the market and able to deliver first-class Hollywood-style entertainment, the opportunities are enormous.
While television was historically based principally on an advertising-driven model, the consumption of entertainment at home is developing into mainly into a subscription business. The Internet has allowed unparalleled access to the end-user and we plan to explore how this opportunity fits into our strategy. There has been much talk of niche but most of the existing players have focused on mass-market solutions. As audiences continue to "cut the cord" and cancel their cable subscriptions, I believe the potential for targeted entertainment apps is self-evident.
Finally, a company such as Emaji will have to remain nimble and opportunistic while not losing sight of its goals. As President and CEO of the Company, I will maintain its Ventures division to evaluate such opportunities as they present themselves.
My Background and Experience
The Company was initially formed in Delaware on August 13, 1996 roughly twenty years ago as Brave Entertainment Corporation. Almost a year earlier, on October 13, 1995, I graduated from Fribourg University in Switzerland with a degree in finance and economics and decided myself to embark on a career in the entertainment industry. Emaji and I thus have something in common: twenty years of hard-earned experience to prepare us for the challenge ahead. We have both had our share of bumps in the road.
My career path has led me from the international distribution of film and television assets at Goldcrest Film and Television to their financing at Berliner Bank AG (London Branch), a European bank, and from there to advisory work at the media group of Houlihan Lokey, an American investment bank, in Los Angeles. At Houlihan Lokey, I spent my time analyzing the business models and financials of some of the biggest entertainment companies in the world, including The Walt Disney Company and EMI, as well as of a number of smaller independents. I wrote the presentations and business plans that helped raise money, provide fairness opinions and settle legal disputes.
Finally, I became an independent producer in 2001, have managed writers and worked with some of the world's biggest stars. I have gained an in-depth understanding of complicated international financing structures and understand the needs of entertainment distributors. During this time, I advised a high net worth investor in placing capital into the entertainment business including an early investment into the Twilight franchise. In the last fifteen years, I produced and/or helped finance several hundred million dollars of production. My full biography can be found at the Company website at www.emaji.com.
But let's start at the beginning: I was born on July 30, 1971 in Frankfurt, Germany. In 1981, my family moved to Rye, New York, where we would spend most of the rest of the decade. After a couple of years in Stuttgart to complete high school, I embarked on an odyssey that would take me to Switzerland and Spain for my studies and then to London, New York and Los Angeles for my professional career. I speak four languages more or less fluently and consider myself a citizen of the world.
My teenage years in America probably contributed much to my love for film and television. As much as the Internet may be changing the world, the art of storytelling was there at the beginning of time and it will be there at the end. In the words of Muriel Rukeyser, "the universe is made of stories, not of atoms." Telling stories is what connects us all and makes us human.
I thank you for your support. We have much to prove and much to accomplish. There is a lot of risk here but also a lot of opportunity. Please follow us on Twitter @emajinews as our story unfolds. If you have any questions, you can ask me there.
President & CEO
PS: We will update our website to reflect the contents of this letter shortly.
About Emaji, Inc.:
Emaji, Inc. (OTC: EMJI), based in Irvine, California, is a publicly traded development stage company with two divisions: Entertainment, and Ventures.
NOTES ABOUT FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
Except for any historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this press release contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including those described in the Company's reports and filings at www.OTCMarkets.com.
Certain statements contained in this release that are not historical facts constitute forward-looking statements, within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and are intended to be covered by the safe harbors created by that Act. Reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements because they involve unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied. Forward-looking statements may be identified by words such as estimates, anticipates, projects, plans, expects, intends, believes, should and similar expressions and by the context in which they are used. Such statements are based upon current expectations of the Company and speak only as of the date made.