Solve, the interactive true-crime and mystery studio that spun out of Elisabeth Murdoch's Vertical Networks, is diving into podcasting with plans to develop content in other media formats in 2020.The L.A.-based startup has raised $20 million in funding from Elisabeth Murdoch, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Upfront Ventures and Shari Redstone's Advancit Capital. The funding came in two rounds, the first in October 2018 with an additional round in June 2019.Solve first debuted as an original Snapchat Show in May 2018 as...
Elisabeth Murdoch is not defined by her famous family. She’s proved that ever since not winning a promotion at U.K. satcaster BSkyB (controlled by her father) and going off to launch Shine Group in 2001. The company grew by buying production companies on both sides of the Atlantic, becoming a powerful international content player thanks to owning properties like “MasterChef.” She sold Shine to News Corp. for an estimated $675 million in 2011.
Rumors of her return to the fold never abated, but her current focus keeps her far from her father and brothers. Her latest venture, Vertical Networks, was set up in the fall of 2015 in hopes of benefitting from the booming short-form video market. Vertical has built up a slate of programs for Snapchat including Brother, aimed at male millennials. Capitalizing on her old area of expertise, she is looking to turn the intellectual property that takes root in short form to longer formats that can be licensed to TV.
Murdoch also has a foot in the film world through a production company she is backing, Locksmith Animation. Together with Sarah Smith and Julie Lockhart, Locksmith landed a multi-title deal with Paramount Pictures in 2016 and segued into a new deal at 21st Century Fox in September 2017. Murdoch is also backing TV production outfit Sister Pictures, which is led by former Shine UK co-chairman Jane Featherstone.
Murdoch has always seemed more comfortable in the more relaxed entertainment world of London and its rural outposts. Famously she and her ex-husband PR man Matthew Freud were part of the so-called Chipping Norton set, a coterie of rich and powerful British media folk and pols that entertained one another at their lavish homes in England’s bucolic Cotswolds region. She remarried to artist Keith Turner in July 2017.