A weekly roundup of must-read L.A. tech investments and acquisitions.
Location: West Hollywood
Investors: Led by Evolution Media Partners with participation from Marc Rowan, RTS Ventures, Paul Wachter, Main Street Advisors, Seacrest Global Group, Cash Warren and Ross Levinsohn.
Description: Attn: Inc. will use its infusion of cash to hire more video creators and editors, add more technology to its audience development efforts and expand onto new video platforms. Co-founder and editor-in-chief Matthew Segal said his company isn’t a traditional news agency; rather it is an issue-based media company. Topics that Attn: Inc. has focused on include drug policy, feminism, LGBT issues, income inequality and college debt, he said. The company is on pace for 10 million monthly web visits and 100 million monthly video views in February, said Segal.
$675 Million (final acquisition price)
Acquired: Maker Studios
Description: The final tab for Walt Disney Co.’s purchase of Culver City’s Maker Studios is $675 million, according to a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Disney bought the YouTube multichannel network in 2014, paying $500 million up front and promising up to $450 million in future payments to shareholders if certain performance benchmarks were met. Ultimately, Disney only paid $175 million in bonuses, though it did not disclose any details about the benchmarks themselves.
Location: West L.A.
Acquired: Rotten Tomatoes and Flixster
Description: Rotten Tomatoes and Flixster were bought from Warner Bros. Entertainment of Burbank, which will take an equity stake in Fandango. West L.A.’s Fandango will continue to operate as a unit of NBCUniversal. Fandango purchased Rotten Tomatoes and Flixster for potential cross-promotional opportunities, Fandango President Paul Yanover said in a statement. The acquisition of Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes, which together reach 20 million unique visitors a month, will boost Fandango’s audience to more than 63 million unique visitors a month. Fandango’s U.S. ticket sales grew 81 percent last year.
Location: Santa Monica
Description: Television and movie streaming platform Hulu has purchased the assets of Vhoto of Seattle, a computer vision startup with an app that extracted photos from videos. Vhoto’s app has been shutdown, but most of Vhoto’s team will work out of Hulu’s Seattle office.
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