Mentioned in this article
- VENN is a new network founded by esports producer Ariel Horn and former Vivendi Games executive Ben Kusin.
- A $17M USD funding round included BITKRAFT, Blizzard co-founder Mike Morhaime, Riot Games co-founder Marc Merrill, Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin, and Blizzard’s former head of global sports Amy Morhaime.
- VENN will launch in 2020 on streaming platforms and social networks with video on demand and 24/7 linear programming.
Blizzard Entertainment Co-Founder Mike Morhaime; Marc Merrill, co-founder of Riot Games; Kevin Lin, co-founder of Twitch; and Amy Morhaime, Blizzard’s former head of global esports, have all invested in a new streaming network called VENN. Investment amounts were not disclosed.
Launching in 2020, VENN is a new post cable network designed to “unite a fragmented media marketplace” and is aimed at “core gaming, esports, and entertainment audiences,” per the announcement. VENN has/will have live studios in New York and Los Angeles, maintaining a digital presence on streaming platforms, social networks, video on demand, and 24/7 linear content.
“Having a central location for high-quality content from across the industry is an important foundational step for gaming communities,” said Morhaime in a statement.
VENN announced that it has closed a $17M seed funding round co-led by BITKRAFT. In addition to the aforementioned investors, undisclosed amounts were received from aXiomatic Gaming; BDMI; YuChiang Cheng, co-founder of World Golf Tour and president of Topgolf Media; Lifeline Financial Group; and Reimagined Ventures.
VENN was founded by Emmy-award winning producer Ariel Horn and former Vivendi Games Global Director of New Media Ben Kusin. Horn served as global head of esports content and an executive producer for the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) for six years before departing in January.
The network will “elevate and promote a culture traditionally overlooked by broadcast media,” Kusin said in a release. Content will be produced in-house and in partnership with “some of the biggest names and creators across industries.”
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