ABOUT PSI CAPITAL AND THE ARTISTDIRECT OPPORTUNITY FUND
Since 2001, PSI Capital Inc. (PSIC) and its predecessors have incubated new ideas, owned, operated and invested in growth ventures across media, entertainment and technology. James Graf and Augustinus Wong originally established PSIC as Praedea Solutions, to develop enterprise software serving the financial data market. PSIC now serves as the primary private investment vehicle for Graf, Wong and Christine Low.
PSIC owns and operates ARTISTdirect, the pioneer online platform for the music industry. Operating at the intersection of artists, fans, commerce and technology for 20 years, ARTISTdirect now serves as the catalyst for the $25 million ARTISTdirect Opportunity Fund (ADFund). ADFund has been established to leverage the ARTISTdirect legacy and invest in high growth ventures operating in compelling niches in the broader music industry eco-system. Targeted sectors have a new technology angle and include music rights, licensing and royalty payments; fan-related big data and related commerce and ticketing opportunities; live event and touring-related payments, logistics and financing; virtual reality; press release dissemination; and, fan relationship management.
The industry portfolio strategy allows and encourages the portfolio companies to leverage relationships and resources, starting with ARTISTdirect online publishing and artist services business.
Select other current PSIC investments include The Ticket Fairy, Venga, Rubicon Entertainment, Drama Club and the World Armwrestling League.
PSIC and the ADFund are located at 1450 2nd Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401 and can be reached at 323.569.8698.
James A. Graf has been Chief Executive of PSI Capital and its predecessors since 2001, overseeing fundraising, acquisitions and overall corporate strategy.
James has been a founder and Chief Financial Officer of three NASDAQ-listed, media and technology-focussed special purpose acquisition companies (SPAC), raising over $1 billion in three IPOs since 2011. The first now operates as Global Eagle Entertainment (NASDAQ: ENT), a leading provider of music and video entertainment and internet connectivity to the airline and cruise ship industries worldwide. The second SPAC now operates as Videocon d2h (NASDAQ: VDTH), the fastest growing DTH television operator in India. VDTH has announced a merger that will create largest media company in India and third largest pay-TV company in the world. The third SPAC, Double Eagle, raised $500 million in its IPO in 2015 and is pursuing a multi-billion dollar media and technology acquisition.
From 2007 to 2008, James was a financial advisor to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. In 2001, James founded and became Chief Executive Officer of Praedea Solutions Inc., an enterprise software company with operations in the United States, Malaysia and Ukraine. The assets of Praedea were sold in 2006 to a Mergent Inc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Xinhua Finance Ltd., and renamed Mergent Data Technology, Inc., where he served as Chief Executive Officer from 2006 – 2007.
Prior to founding Praedea, James was a managing director at Merrill Lynch in Singapore from 1998 to 2000, where was was head of regional media and technology banking among management and coverage roles, and a consultant to Merrill Lynch in 2001. From 1996 to 1998, James served as a director and then managing director and President of Deutsche Bank’s investment banking business in Hong Kong, where he also served as head of investment banking in North Asia, co-head of Asia M&A, co-head of Asia TMT, head of the Asia transaction execution group and member of greater China operating committee for the broader Deutsche Bank group. From 1993 to 1996, he was a vice president at Smith Barney in Hong Kong and Los Angeles. From 1987 to 1993, James was an analyst and then associate at Morgan Stanley in New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Singapore. Since 2007, James has also served as a Managing Director or Special Advisor to TC Capital, a boutique investment bank based in Singapore.
James resides in Houston, TX. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Chicago in 1987.
Augustine Wong has been President of PSI Capital, Inc. since 2013 and a Managing Director and member of its Board since 2007. During that time, he has been ‘hands-on’ with some of the firm’s investments in the media, entertainment, and SaaS sectors. Most recently, Augustine has been guiding the team operating the ARTISTdirect online publishing business, leading the incubation of Hometeamfans, a youth sports portal, and facilitated the dissolution of an online radio station. Augustine has separately provided corporate strategy, business development, product strategy and development, and corporate finance advice and services to numerous technology driven companies in fashion technology, consumer technology support services, corporate credit ratings, bio-threat detection, and other areas.
In 2001, Augustine co-founded and became the COO/CFO of Praedea Solutions, Inc, an enterprise software company with operations in the U.S., Malaysia, and the Ukraine, where his primary role was to lead the product development/management/implementation of products based on text mining technologies. The assets of Praedea Solutions, Inc. were sold in 2006 to a Mergent Inc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Xinhua Finance Ltd., and renamed Mergent Data Technology, Inc., where he served as Managing Director from 2006 – 2008. Praedea Solutions Inc. was renamed PSI Capital Inc.
Earlier in his career, Augustine developed experience in technology development & solutions, business process outsourcing, electronic marketplaces, business strategy and planning, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and financial management and analysis at organizations like Scient iXL, Bloomberg Financial Markets and PwC Consulting.
Augustine earned graduate and undergraduate degrees in business from the University of Michigan.
PSI is finalizing the formation of an advisory group consisting of leaders in the music and technology sectors in the U.S. and around world. At present, members will include former executives with leadership experience in live events, music-tv, a major record label, and hybrid investment management.