H’w’d investors backing biz memorabilia company

WhatsHotNow.com gets $23 mil from actors, industryites

WhatsHotNow.com, a Los Angeles-based e-commerce company that sells entertainment memorabilia, has secured $23 million in third round financing from the likes of Comcast Corp., actors Will Smith, Michael J. Fox and William Shatner and Waterview Investors, Frank Biondi’s venture capital firm.

This round of investing, that was led by TH Lee.Putnam Internet Partners, brings the total amount of private investment in the company to $36 million.

“We are very pleased with the result of this round of financing,” said Rob Fried, chairman and CEO of WhatsHotNow.com and former CEO of Savoy Pictures. “The quality of our new and returning investors confirms that our business plan is sound. The additional funds will enable us to continue to realize the goals that we have set for the company.”

WhatsHotNow.com will branch into the business-to-business arena in June, Fried said, by launching the WHN Exchange, a portal for the licensing industry.

“WhatsHotNow.com is the only Web merchant to understand the real market potential of online marketing of branded, licensed products,” said Jeffrey H. Coats, THLi’s managing director. Coats and Biondi are both on the company’s board of directors.

Other investors in the company include Sid and Jon Sheinberg’s the Bubble Co., Martin Shafer and Andrew Scheinman of Castle Rock Entertainment, director Robert Zemekis, television producers Tom Miller and Bob Boyett and the estate of Frank Sinatra.

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