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YouTube group Dude Perfect scores more than $100M investment

The popular YouTube channel Dude Perfect announced Tuesday it landed an investment of more than $100 million from private investment firm Highmount Capital as the group looks to expand into a larger media company.

Dude Perfect began in April 2009 as a YouTube channel started by five roommates at Texas A&M University that featured them performing trick basketball shots. In the years since, Coby and Cory Cotton, Tyler Toney, Cody Jones and Garrett Hilbert have expanded Dude Perfect into one of the most popular channels on YouTube, with more than 60 million subscribers to their main channel on the platform that features sports stunts and comedy.

Dude Perfect has entered into marketing partnerships with clients such as Walmart, Nike, the U.S. Olympic Team, Southwest Airlines and more, according to the group’s website. It’s also gone on nationwide tours and is planning to add a retail store at its third headquarters that will complement an online store.

“Our mission at Highmount is to invest in transformational companies with great founders who are building scalable and influential platforms,” Highmount co-founder and general partner Jason Illian wrote in a post announcing the investment. “While it wasn’t obvious at first, Dude Perfect is transforming from YouTubers to a media powerhouse. As we dug in, we had to shed some preconceived notions and peel back layers of traditional thinking to get to the truth.”

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Dude Perfect YouTube

YouTube’s Dude Perfect landed an investment of more than $100 million from Highmount Capital. (Noam Galai/FilmMagic for YouTube / Getty Images)

Illian explained that in Highmount’s research into Dude Perfect’s business model, it found the total addressable market for the creator economy is close to $250 billion and is projected to nearly double to about $480 billion in the next two to three years, according to Goldman Sachs.

He added that about one-third of all adults, and nearly half of Gen Z and millennials, have their purchasing decisions determined by  influencers, according to LInktree, and noted an Oxford Economics study that found YouTube’s creative ecosystem contributes $35 billion to U.S. GDP and supports over 400,000 full-time equivalent jobs in the U.S.

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Dude Perfect Stunt

Cory Cotton of Dude Perfect at the taping of Nickelodeon’s Superstar Slime Showdown at the Super Bowl in Houston. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Nickelodeon / Getty Images)

“We didn’t just invest in the Dudes; we are partnering with them. Highmount is investing 9-figures of capital so that, together with the Dudes, we can build a world-class management team, capitalize on current and future opportunities and, most importantly, help them engage with their fans in new magical ways. We are here to serve and help them steward their growing platform in ways that transform culture,” Illian added.

The Wall Street Journal reported in February 2023 that Dude Perfect had revenue of roughly $25 million in 2022, up from $20 million in 2021, and that much of that revenue came from the group’s ventures outside of YouTube, such as their live performances and merchandise sales.

Dude Perfect performance

YouTube Creators Dude Perfect onstage at YouTube Brandcast 2019 at Radio City Music Hall May 02, 2019, in New York City.  (Taylor Hill/FilmMagic for YouTube / Getty Images)

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The Journal’s report noted that the group is planning a theme park, which has a working name of Dude Perfect World, which is expected to cost at least $100 million and take over two years to build.

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