It was announced that Fotografiska, the international photography museum (Stockholm, New York, and Tallinn), has merged with NeueHouse, the private work and social space for creators (New York and Los Angeles), following a strategic capital raise of $35M, led by investor and new majority owner Yoram Roth which values the combined platform at $165M.
The merged organizations are brought together under the new holding, management, and development company, CultureWorks, with the vision of creating the preeminent global growth platform for culture, experience, and hospitality brands.
“Community matters and culture works. This personal philosophy drew me to both Fotografiska and NeueHouse brands and ultimately to their simpatico convergence. The vision for CultureWorks is to incubate, capitalize, and partner with brands, entrepreneurs, and artists at the vanguard of culture, creativity, and commerce.” – said Yoram Roth.
Following the very recent openings of Fotografiska New York in December 2019 and NeueHouse Bradbury in Downtown LA in February 2020, this new deal is timed to NeueHouse’s continued expansion into Venice Beach, CA, Miami, FL, and its first European location at the original Fotografiska Stockholm all in 2021. Fotografiska will also open a new museum outpost in Berlin in 2022. Announcements regarding further North American and European expansion plans will be made in the coming months.
“We are deeply inspired to develop new flagship environments that define the future of the way the creative class will work, meet, create, socialize, discover, and gather. The last year has accelerated the innate human need to gather and coalesce around moments of meaningful connection, all within safe, design-driven spaces. Under the CultureWorks brand umbrella, with NeueHouse and Fotografiska as the foundational pillars and the support of Yoram and our investors, we will look to bring our intellectually curious and culturally conscious communities back together.” – said Josh Wyatt, newly named CultureWorks CEO.
With more than 1M annual visitors and 10,000 members across both brands, the CultureWorks platform launches an established and robust global footprint. This exciting growth will continue into the other US and global cities – targeting architecturally iconic buildings in storied neighborhoods with a thriving culture scene – at a time when most hospitality and workspace brands are retrenching. In addition to opening new locations, CultureWorks will also invest in building digital platforms to offer immersive editorial content and interactive experiences for their audiences.
“We are seeing pent-up demand for rebuilding community, connecting with like-minded souls, and sharing cultural experiences. It is inspiring to see Yoram and Josh make a bold move and envision the future of how society will do this. Now is the perfect time to invest and cultivate the foundations of next-generation brands that understand and anticipate the shifting cultural landscape of tomorrow.” – said CultureWorks’ Board Member Stephanie Horton, (Google’s Global Consumer Marketing Director).
CultureWorks‘ first hire is Adriana Marianella, as Chief Development Officer, to run hospitality, design, and development for the new company. Adriana joins CultureWorks from her previous decade-plus long post with Standard International, including The Standard, Bunkhouse, and Peri Hotels, where she was the Vice President of Brand Development and Experiential. Befitting her start in the industry as Chief of Staff to André Balazs (Chateau Marmont, Chiltern Firehouse, The Mercer & Sunset Beach), Adriana has earned a reputation for creating uniquely compelling hospitality experiences on a global scale.
Both Fotografiska and NeueHouse organizations recognize and have established brand equity at the intersection of the arts, culture, hospitality, design, and entertainment. This acclaim has been cultivated through their influential membership-driven communities, programming, content, events, and elevated hospitality offerings. NeueHouse has steadily expanded its footprint and network during the past year, having recently partnered with like-minded hospitality brands (including Casa Tua, who will be a NeueHouse partner in its new Miami location) to offer exclusive benefits to their members through a recently launched members-only app.
The merger follows several creative collaborations between Fotografiska and NeueHouse, including an artist conversation series in 2019 featuring photographer Ellen von Unwerth at NeueHouse Madison Square and exhibition pop-ups in 2020 highlighting the work of photographers Andres Serrano and Alison Jackson at NeueHouse Hollywood.
The merger and capital raise process was led by Josh Wyatt and Marcel Reichart, Board Director and Executive Advisor to Yoram Roth, who will focus on further corporate and capital market development. Several notable and long-term existing investors contributed to the round, including Revolt Ventures, a MARK platform focused on real estate technology and business operations.