×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jeffrey Katzenberg’s WndrCo Invests in Whistle Sports

WndrCo, the mobile-video holding company whose founders include Jeffrey Katzenberg, has made a small equity investment in digital-media startup Whistle Sports as part of a larger round of funding.

“We’re super excited about it – we view the world the same way they do,” said John West, founder and CEO of Whistle Sports. “As we learned more about what they were thinking about WndrCo and TV for the mobile world, we saw it as a huge alignment with Whistle Sports.”

Katzenberg, the former CEO of DreamWorks Animation, launched WndrCo earlier this year with an initial bankroll of nearly $600 million. He co-founded the company with Ann Daly and Sujay Jaswa. WndrCo (pronounced “wonder co”) is focused on short-form, mobile entertainment. The firm also has taken a stake in TYT Networks, the online political and entertainment news network that produces “The Young Turks” program.

Whistle Sports produces, curates and distributes sports content for fans worldwide, through a network of 400 independent creators. The company’s videos skew toward male viewers, and particularly among younger demos, West said, “mobile is the way they consume video.”

The size of WndrCo’s stake in Whistle Sports isn’t being disclosed; West said the investment is part of a large fundraising round that’s still in process.

Previously, Whistle Sports has landed a total of $70 million in funding. Investors in its $29 million Series C round, which closed in early 2016, included NBC Sports, Tegna and U.K.-based venture-capital firm Beringea, along with previous investors Emil Capital and Sky Sports.

Whistle Sports launched in January 2014, and says it now has an audience of 400 million across multiple platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. In September, the company generated 1.5 billion views.

Whistle currently has 95 employees, based at its New York headquarters and offices in L.A. and London.

Other investors include John Malone’s Liberty Global; former New York Yankee Derek Jeter; recently retired Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning; Bob Pittman, chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia; Geraldine Laybourne, former head of Oyxgen Media and Nickelodeon; and SeventySix Capital.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Rakuten TV Launching Pan-European AVOD Service

    Rakuten TV Launching Pan-European AVOD Service

    The buzz at Mipcom this year is about advertising-supported as much as subscription VOD, and Rakuten TV made a major move into that space Tuesday with the announcement of a new AVOD service in the 40-plus countries it serves in Europe. Rakuten TV has been focused on transaction-based video-on-demand, offering customers big-ticket studio movies. It [...]

  • Radio-Com

    Entercom's Radio.com Launches DVR-Style Controls for Live Radio Shows (EXCLUSIVE)

    Radio broadcaster Entercom Communications is hoping to expand listenership of its live programming by bringing TiVo-like functionality to its Radio.com platform. Launching this week, Radio.com Rewind lets listeners pause, rewind and fast-forward live radio. It’s accessible via the online player or in the Radio.com app. Eventually, the company said it will integrate the feature with [...]

  • Help Wanted: Amazon Studios International Execs

    Help Wanted: Amazon Studios International Execs Talk European Expansion

    If there’s a perfect example of Amazon Studios’ strategy with its local-language international TV content, Japan’s “Documental” would be it. The series revolves around 10 comedians who battle to make one another laugh in an elimination-style competition. James Farrell, Amazon Studios’ head of international originals, said it was a good example of an unconventional idea [...]

  • Discovery, ProSiebenSat.1 Streamer Joyn Will Launch

    Discovery and ProSiebenSat.1's Joint Streamer, Joyn, Will Get International Launch

    Joyn, the streaming service run jointly by Discovery and German media giant ProSiebenSat.1, will roll out internationally in addition to launching a premium tier domestically later this year. At Mipcom in Cannes, ProSiebenSat.1 CEO Max Conze was asked whether the service, which offers on-demand content and linear channel feeds, would launch beyond Germany. “We definitely [...]

  • The Outpost -- "One is the

    Electric Entertainment Launching OTT Channel Electric Now (EXCLUSIVE)

    U.S.-based producer and distributor Electric Entertainment is launching Electric Now, a linear OTT channel that will feature its top series and library content. The channel will have episodes of “The Outpost,” the fantasy-adventure series that has just had its third season greenlit by U.S. network The CW. The new season will head into production in [...]

  • AMC theater

    AMC Entertainment Introducing On-Demand Movie Service

    AMC Entertainment will introduce an online video store in the United States on Tuesday. Adam Aron, AMC’s president and chief executive, said that the AMC Theatres On Demand will offer about 2,000 films for sale or rent after their theatrical runs — much like Amazon or iTunes. Disney, Warner Bros., Universal, Sony and Paramount have [...]

  • Facebook Logo

    Facebook Watch Signs Content Pact With France's M6, Unveils European Short-Form Slate

    Facebook Watch has inked a content pact with French channel M6 and unveiled a slate of short-form content from European digital publishers for the platform. The deal with M6 will see the French broadcaster place spinoff programming from some of its hit shows on Facebook Watch. M6 will run pre- and after-show clips, interviews, and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content