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Jeffrey Katzenberg’s WndrCo Invests $30 Million in The Infatuation, Owner of Zagat Restaurant Guide

WndrCo, the investment and holding company led by Jeffrey Katzenberg, invested $30 million in The Infatuation, a digital-media and events company focused on restaurant guides and food.

The Infatuation was founded in 2009 in by Chris Stang and Andrew Steinthal, two former music-industry execs. The New York City-based company in March 2018 acquired restaurant-review brand Zagat from Google, which had bought it for $151 million in 2011.

The company said it will use the funding from WndrCo, founded by Katzenberg, Ann Daly and Sujay Jaswa, to launch its restaurant-discovery platform into new cities, as well as expanding its technology platform and product offerings. WndrCo founding partners Daly and Jaswa will join The Infatuation’s board of directors.

The Infatuation currently covers restaurants in more than two dozen cities around the world, producing content, mobile apps, an email newsletter, and an SMS-based recommendation platform called Text Rex. Zagat has let The Infatuation extend its business into the “user-generated content discovery space,” complementing its own restaurant-discovery menu, according to the company.

The company also produces more than 50 community events annually, including its large-scale food festival, EEEEEATSCON. Its first EEEEEATSCON event on the East Coast is set for Oct. 6 at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, after being held in L.A. the past two years.

WndrCo represented an investor with a founder-friendly approach and a long-term commitment, according to Stang, The Infatuation’s CEO, said in a statement. “Ann, Sujay, Jeffrey and the entire WndrCo team have the operational and domain expertise we were seeking in a partner,” he said, “as well as a unique ability to navigate both the tech and content space which will help us achieve our immense growth potential.”

Daly and Jaswa commented that The Infatuation’s co-founders built a sizable audience with high editorial standards. “We share their long-term vision for growing the business and expanding geographically and firmly believe in their future,” the WndrCo partners said.

Founded in 2016, WndrCo’s biggest project is “NewTV,” a mobile premium video network headed by Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman that has raised $1 billion in funding from Hollywood studios and other backers.

WndrCo’s other investments to date have included equity stakes in TYT NetworksAxios, Whistle Sports and Mixcloud.

Pictured above: The Infatuation chief revenue officer Andrew Steinthal (l.) and CEO Chris Stang

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