Did you ever want unlock your inner Pixar artist? The Nimble Collective has raised an $8.5 million round to develop a cloud-based community for aspiring animators.

New Enterprise Associates led the round for the Mountain View, California-based startup, which is targeting the estimated 10 million professional and aspiring animators around the globe. Animation is an estimated $90 billion worldwide market, but it remains a tough industry to break into.

NEA venture partner Greg Papadopoulos is joining the company’s board. High-profile advisers from the animated film industry include Mark Walsh, Eric Darnell, and Peter Ramsey, whose movies include Rise of the Guardians, Toy Story 2, the Madagascar films, and Monsters, Inc.

The Nimble Collective is building a cloud-based platform that makes it easy for animators to share their work with each other, get much-needed feedback, and find work.


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Michael Howse, a cofounder, investor, and board adviser of Nimble Collective, said in an interview with VentureBeat that millions of talented animators don’t have access to the tech tools and budgets necessary to bring high-quality animations projects to fruition.

“Nimble will change that by democratizing the market with the world’s first collaborative, cloud-based platform for generating content that animators can distribute and profit from in exciting new ways,” Howse said.

Nimble Collective is developing a cloud platform that lets animators collaborate and distribute their creative content. The production is hosted in a secure cloud environment, letting people allow access to work as permitted. And artists can choose to log in from anywhere they happen to be.

“Nimble is delivering studio caliber tools and collaboration capabilities — all in the cloud — that free-up animators to do what they do best — create,” added Nimble cofounder and chief creative officer Rex Grignon in a statement. “Our goal is to enable a new generation of creatives to create, collaborate and prosper by building their own unique, modern content to reach huge audiences.”

The Nimble Collective platform is slated for availability to select partners in the second half of 2016.

“Nimble is on the verge of creating a tectonic shift in the marketplace with an innovative platform that will disrupt the status quo of animation content creation,” Papadopoulos said in a statement. “Created by world-class animators, the Nimble platform opens up an unprecedented level of new opportunities for the 10-plus million professional and aspiring animators around the world.”

Howse formerly worked at 3dfx Interactive (now Nvidia) and most recently led Bigfoot Networks through its acquisition by Qualcomm in 2012.

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