Old Media Giants Turn To VC For Next Acts

From marketplaces to VR, media giants seek relevance through startup investing. Of the traditional media companies that have committed to corporate venturing, there are two distinct strategies: those whose investing seems to be about replacing the historic classifieds section of newspapers and diversifying into a range of consumer-facing marketplaces, and those whose investing is concentrated on capturing an early glimpse (and early equity stake) in startups reshaping media.

Media’s Complicated Relationship With VC Funding

Edgar Bronfman Jr. Cofounding New VC Firm

Former media chief Edgar Bronfman Jr. is starting a venture firm called Waverley Capital with longtime investor Daniel Leff. The two are said to be looking to raise up to $100 million. The idea: to target media investments.

VC Funding Is Drying Up For Media Startups

As venture capitalists exercise more caution and place fewer bets, they’re leaving media startups behind. Venture funding to media-tech companies slid for the third consecutive quarter to $91.7 million, the lowest amount since mid-2013, according to data from industry researcher CB Insights. Investment activity followed a similar trend, declining to the fewest number of deals since the second quarter of 2012. But even as funding rounds hit that four-year low, some VCs remain bullish.

VC Funding Soars 145% For Media Companies

Venture capital funding for online media climbed 145% year-over-year to $813 million. Vice Media itself had a pair of $250 million investments, but alas for poor Gigaom, which had more than $22 million in VC funding, this only led down the path to ruin.

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