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Venn, a network hoping to be gaming’s answer to MTV, raises $26 million – TechCrunch

VENN , the streaming community hoping to be gaming tradition’s reply to MTV, has raised $26 million to convey its mixture of video game-themed leisure and streaming celeb options to the plenty.

The financing got here from earlier investor Bitkraft, one of many largest funds targeted on the intersection of gaming and artificial actuality, and new investor Nexstar Media Group, a publicly traded operator of regional tv broadcast stations and cable networks across the U.S.

The funding from Nexstar provides Venn a toehold in native broadcast that might see the community’s reveals seem on common broadcast televisions in most main American cities, and provides to a roster of Nexstar properties together with CourtTV, Bounce, and Ion Tv. The corporate has over 197 tv stations and a community of internet sites that common over 100 million month-to-month energetic customers and 1 billion web page views, based on a press release from Ben Kusin, Venn’s co-founder and chief govt.

“VENN is a brand new sort of TV community constructed for the streaming and digital era, and it’s growing modern content material for the millennial and Gen Z cultures who’re obsessive about gaming,” Nexstar Media Group President, Chief Working Officer and Chief Monetary Officer, Thomas E. Carter mentioned in a press release. “Gaming and esports are two quick rising sectors and thru our funding we plan to distribute VENN content material throughout our broadcast platform to handle a youthful viewers; make the most of VENN to achieve early entry to gaming-adjacent content material; and current native and nationwide manufacturers with broadcast and digital advertising and marketing and promoting alternatives to succeed in youthful audiences.”

It’s unclear how a lot traction with youthful audiences Venn has. The corporate’s YouTube channel has 14,000 subscribers and its Twitch Channel boasts a barely extra spectacular 57.7 thousand subscribers. Nonetheless, it’s early days for the streaming community, which solely started airing its first programming in September.

Since its launch a little over a year ago, Venn has managed to poach some former senior management from Viacom’s MTV and MTV Music Leisure Group, which has been the mannequin the gaming-focused streaming community has set for itself. Jeff Jacobs, the previous senior vp for manufacturing planning, methods and operations at MTV’s mother or father firm, Viacom and most not too long ago an impartial producer for Viacom, the NBA, World Citizen and ACE Universe.

Venn is at present obtainable by itself web site and numerous streaming providers in addition to via partnerships with the Roku Channel, Plex, Xumo, Samsung TV Plus and Vizio.

The corporate has additionally managed to choose up some early model partnerships with firms together with Subway, Draft Kings, Alienware, Adidas and American Eagle.


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Jonathan Shieber