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

Venn, the streaming network hoping to be gaming tradition’s answer to MTV, has raised $26 million to convey its mixture of video game-themed leisure and streaming celeb options to the lots.

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 offers Venn a toehold in native broadcast that would see the network’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 Television. The firm has over 197 tv stations and a network of internet sites that common over 100 million month-to-month energetic customers and 1 billion web page views, in accordance to a assertion from Ben Kusin, Venn’s co-founder and chief govt.

“VENN is a new sort of TV network constructed for the streaming and digital era, and it’s creating modern content material for the millennial and Gen Z cultures who’re obsessive about gaming,” Nexstar Media Group President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer Thomas E. Carter stated in a assertion. “Gaming and esports are two quick rising sectors and thru our funding we plan to distribute VENN content material throughout our broadcast platform to deal with 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 attain youthful audiences.”

It’s unclear how a lot traction with youthful audiences Venn has. The firm’s YouTube channel has 14,000 subscribers and its Twitch Channel boasts a barely extra spectacular 57.7K subscribers. Still, it’s early days for the streaming network, 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 Entertainment Group, which has been the mannequin the gaming-focused streaming network has set for itself, together with Jeff Jacobs, the previous senior vp for manufacturing planning, methods and operations at MTV’s mum or dad firm (Viacom) and most lately an unbiased producer for Viacom, the NBA, Global Citizen and ACE Universe.

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

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

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