Whip Media Group — formed by TV Time’s acquisition of Mediamorph last year — closed a new tranche of $50 million in funding that the company claims will let it build unprecedented tools for determining the value of TV show and movies in the global entertainment market.
The funding was led by prior investor asset-management firm Eminence Capital, with participation from Raine Ventures. TV Time had previously raised $65 million from investors including Eminence Capital, Raine Ventures, WME, IVP, Greycroft, and others. Part of the new $50 million round was to finance the company’s purchase of Mediamorph, a provider of entertainment content distribution and tracking services; terms of the cash-and-stock deal were undisclosed.
Whip Media will use the new funding to expand its sales and data teams, with plans to introduce new features that merge data from the consumer-facing TV Time app and Mediamorph’s transactional content system, said co-founder and CEO Rich Rosenblatt (pictured above).
“It’s optimizing the buying and selling of content,” said Rosenblatt. “This is really trying to value film and TV rights globally… It feels like the early days of ad networks.”
Popular on Variety
In the first quarter of 2020, Whip Clip will add a new feature to Mediamorph’s Content Value Management (CVM) platform that provides an “engagement score” for a particular title based on user feedback provided through the TV Time app, Rosenblatt said.
Eventually, “we’ll be able to price a piece of content and also determine which platform it will perform better on,” Rosenblatt said. “It’s not just a guess.”
The way content is bought and sold “is still done the way it was done decades ago,” he added. “You go to a conference – and half your stuff ends up not being licensed.”
Mediamorph processes 4 billion transactions per year, according to Rosenblatt. Whip Media will combine that data with TV Time’s audience-sentiment feedback with a statistically relevant rating for a TV show or movie in about 100 countries. The company’s business also include TheTVDB, a community-driven entertainment database for TV and movies.
Whip Media plans to hire over 50 employees in 2020, Rosenblatt said. Currently, it has a headcount of nearly 150, most of whom joined the company via the Mediamorph acquisition. Whip Media is based in Santa Monica, with offices in New York and the U.K.
In a statement, Ricky Sandler, CEO of Eminence Capital, explained why his company was upping its investment in Whip Media Group: “We believe in their vision and their exceptional leadership and technology teams and are excited to partner with them as they rapidly expand their business.”
Whip Media Group’s client roster of studios, TV broadcasters and telecom companies includes Disney, Warner Bros., Hulu, NBCUniversal, Paramount, Sony, Lionsgate, BBC, HBO, AT&T, T-Mobile, Liberty Global, Discovery and UTA. TV Time was founded in 2014 as Whipclip, which created a social app for TV fans to share short clips of their favorite shows; the company pivoted in 2017, changing its name and business model.
In November, Whip Media announced the hire of Saj Jayasinghe as senior VP of global enterprise account management, overseeing sales. Jayasinghe previously served in a similar role at Deluxe Entertainment Services Group, leading enterprise sales strategy for the company.