Category Archives: Netflix

Where top VCs are investing in media, entertainment & gaming

Most of the strategy discussions and news coverage in the media and entertainment industry is concerned with the unfolding corporate mega-mergers and the political implications of social media platforms. These are important conversations, but they’re largely a story of twentieth-century media (and broader society) finally responding to the dominance Web 2.0 companies have achieved. To entrepreneurs and VCs, the more pressing focus is on what the next generation of companies to transform entertainment will look like. Like other sectors, the underlying force is advances in artificial intelligence […]

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Gjirafa raises a $6.7M Series B from Rockaway Capital to digitise the Balkans

There’s nothing like a niche language to create a sort of lock-in for a startup, and that’s exactly what’s happened with Gjirafa. Focusing exclusively on Albanian-speaking countries, co-founder and CEO Mergim Cahani started out developing an Albanian language search engine and then literally digitizing the country’s information, from bus timetables to a database of local businesses and venues, and beyond. Investors were attracted to this “emerging-market approach” and put in a $2 million Series A three years ago to “grow the Balkans’ internet economy” by digitizing and […]

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Y Combinator bets on the booming podcast industry

Podcasts are exploding in popularity and Y Combinator, the startup accelerator known for its long list of unicorn graduates, is throwing its support behind a business tackling the podcast monetization problem. Among its latest and largest-ever cohort is Brew, a subscription-based app complete with original content. Though Brew’s founders, Jijo Sunny, Madhavan Ramakrishnan, Aleesha John and Joseph Sunny, call Brew the “Netflix for podcasts,” the app differs from Luminary, which made headlines with the same tagline and a $100 million round earlier this month. Luminary, which hasn’t […]

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Startups Weekly: What’s up with YC? Plus, mobility layoffs and Airbnb’s grand plans

Where to begin… Netflix darling Marie Kondo is hitting up Sand Hill Road in search of $40 million to fund an ecommerce platform, Y Combinator is giving $150,000 to a startup building a $380,000 flying motorcycle (because why not) and Jibo, the social robot, is calling it quits, speaking to owners directly of its imminent shutdown. It was a hectic week in unicorn land so, I’m just going to get right to the good stuff. Changes at Y Combinator Where to begin! Not only did the prolific […]

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Podcasting startup WaitWhat raises $4.3M as interest in audio content explodes

WaitWhat, the digital content production engine behind LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman’s Masters of Scale podcast, has secured a $4.3 million Series A investment led by Cue Ball Capital and Burda Principal Investments. Launched in January 2017, WaitWhat will use the cash to create additional media properties across a variety of mediums, including podcasts. Investors are gravitating toward podcast startups as consumer interest in original audio content skyrockets. Podcasting, though an infantile industry that hit just $314 million in revenue in 2017, is maturing, raking in venture capital rounds […]

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Foot Locker invests $100 million in GOAT Group

Foot Locker, the mostly mall-bound retailer of mass market sneakers, has invested $100 million in the sneaker marketplace and retailer of primarily rare and exclusive high-end athletic and lifestyle shoes, GOAT Group. The companies said that the investment would eventually lead to Foot Locker and Goat Group combining their efforts across their digital and physical retail platforms. GOAT said in a statement that the company would use the investment to accelerate its global operations and expand its omnichannel experience and its technologies. IT Manager Clint Arndt, CEO […]

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5 unicorns that will probably go public in 2019 (besides Uber and Lyft)

There’s been plenty of fanfare surrounding Uber and Lyft’s initial public offerings — slated for early 2019 — since the two companies filed confidential IPO paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in early December. On top of that, public and private investors have had plenty to say about Slack and Pinterest’s rumored 2019 IPOs but those aren’t the only “unicorn” exits we should expect to witness in the year ahead. Using its proprietary company rating algorithm, data provider CB Insights ranked five billion dollar companies most likely to […]

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Moonbug nabs $145M to buy up kids’ digital media brands

Moonbug, a kid-focused media business founded by a pair of entertainment executives, has brought in a $145 million Series A investment led by The Raine Group, a merchant bank that supports technology, media and telecom efforts. Venture capital firms Felix Capital and Fertitta Capital also participated in the financing. Moonbug, headquartered in London, acquires and distributes media content made for kids. Recently, the company completed its first IP acquisition of Little Baby Bum, a children’s sing-along show popular on YouTube, Amazon and Netflix. According to a Los Angeles […]

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Still a year away from launch, Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Quibi keeps adding talent

Video won’t start rolling on Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katzenberg’s new bite-sized streaming service with the billion-dollar backing until the end of 2019, but talent keeps signing up to come along for their ride into the future of serialization. The latest marquee director to sign on the dotted line with Quibi is Catherine Hardwicke, who will be helming a story around the creation of an artificial intelligence with the working title “How They Made Her,” according to an announcement from Katzenberg onstage at the Variety Innovate summit. […]

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Making A Murderer returns on October 19

Making A Murderer is coming back to Netflix on October 19. In 2015, Netflix released the 10-episode docuseries Making A Murderer, created by Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos. The picture looked at the mystery surrounding the murder of Teresa Halbach. Steven Avery, a Manitowoc County man charged with the murder in 2007, was wrongfully convicted of sexual assault at the age of 22, and was exonerated by DNA evidence after serving 18 years in prison. Making A Murderer examined the original allegations, the events surrounding the murder […]

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