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Podcaster Wondery Banks $10 Million, Taps NatGeo Vet Declan Moore for International Push

Wondery, the three-year-old podcast publisher headed by former Fox International Channels chief Hernan Lopez, this week announced the closing of $10 million in Series B financing.

With the funding, the company plans to expand internationally and has hired Declan Moore, most recently CEO of National Geographic Partners, the joint venture between National Geographic Society and 21st Century Fox, to head up international operations. Moore, who is based in London, worked with Wondery CEO Lopez at 21CF.

Wondery’s Series B funding was led by new investor Waverley Capital, the venture-capital firm formed by Edgar Bronfman Jr. and Luminari Capital’s Daniel Leff. Others participating in the round were existing investors Lerer Hippeau, Greycroft, BDMI, Advancit Capital and Water Tower Ventures, as well as new backer Powerhouse Ventures. The funding brings L.A.-based startup to $15 million raised.

Wondery said it will use the funding to development new programming, acquire content, and invest in technology and global growth. The company, founded by Lopez in 2016 with backing from Fox, has produced a string of popular podcast series including “Dr. Death,” “The Shrink Next Door” and “Business Wars.”

It has a burgeoning TV licensing business as well: Its series “Dirty John” was adapted into a TV series for Bravo and Netflix, and five other Wondery series have been optioned for TV by Universal Content Productions, FX and WarnerMedia. Elizabeth Banks is on board to direct and produce an adaptation of Wondery’s “Over My Dead Body,” a drama about the breakup of a seemingly “perfect” couple, for WarnerMedia’s forthcoming streaming service.

“Waverley Capital invests in category-defining media companies, and there is no better example in the audio space than Wondery,” Waverley Capital’s Bronfman Jr. and Leff said in a joint statement.

Moore led National Geographic Partners from its formation in 2015 before exiting in early 2018. Prior to the formation of NGP, Moore was a 20-year veteran at National Geographic, serving in leadership roles including as chief media officer and EVP at National Geographic Society where he was responsible for all media, consumer products and licensing.

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