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Gaming and entertainment news network VENN unveiled on Tuesday $26 million in Series A funding co-led by investors including BITKRAFT, Josh Kroenke and Nexstar Media Group.
“With this new funding round, VENN is positioned for its next phase of growth as we plan to further expand our content creation capabilities and continue to enhance the distribution of our ‘instant and everywhere’ viewing experience” said Ben Kusin, VENN’s co-founder and co-CEO.
“We’re proud to welcome Nexstar as an important strategic investor and exclusive local television partner as we leverage the national reach of their 197 television stations, related digital multicast signals, and expansive digital properties with over 100M MAU and 1B monthly page views in the United States.”
Thomas E. Carter, Nexstar Media Group president and chief operating officer added, “VENN is a new kind of TV network built for the streaming and digital generation, and it’s developing leading-edge content for the millennial and Gen Z cultures who are obsessed with gaming. Gaming and esports are two fast growing sectors and through our investment we plan to distribute VENN content across our broadcast platform to address a younger audience; utilize VENN to gain early access to gaming-adjacent content; and present local and national brands with broadcast and digital marketing and advertising opportunities to reach younger audiences.”
Alongside the funding, Jeff Jacobs is joining VENN as evp and general manager, where he will focus on VENN’s growth, content and business operations. He formerly served as the executive in charge of production at MTV.
“VENN is led by a team with deep experience in gaming and cable television. Jeff’s the latest talented leader to join our group, and he’s brought incredible value already in such a short period of time. He will play a significant role in the continuation of our network’s growth plan and content,” added Kusin. “Our premium programming, unparalleled production expertise, technology, studio build, and intimate market knowledge strongly positions VENN as a major player in gaming’s total addressable market.”
In expanding its U.S. distribution network, VENN recently added The Roku Channel in order to reach a wider streaming audience.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, VENN launched in August with a slate of original live shows focused on gaming and pop culture programming for Gen Z and millennial viewers. Broadcasting content 24/7, its platform partners include Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Twitch.
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