Tribune Media leads new $2.75M funding round in mobile TV news start-up WatchUp
New round investors include The McClatchy Company and existing investors Knight Enterprise Fund, Stanford-StartX Fund, Ned Lamont, Gordon Crovitz and Jim Friedlich
Menlo Park, CA – November 6, 2014 –– Watchup, the Stanford startup reimagining TV news, announced today it has raised a new $2.75 million round led by Tribune Media with participation from The McClatchy Company and existing investors Knight Enterprise Fund, Stanford-StartX Fund, Ned Lamont, Gordon Crovitz and Jim Friedlich. This round brings Watchup’s total capital raised to $4.25 million.
“Watchup extends our vision of expanding the reach of quality local news content, and we are excited to invest in a product dedicated to ensuring that local news is available everywhere,” said Larry Wert, President of Broadcasting, Tribune Media.
Watchup delivers a personalized newscast from the most trusted global news sources to a tablet, smartphone, or other devices. The service curates news from leading media outlets like PBS NewsHour, CNET, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Univision, and hundreds of others. Founded in 2012 at Stanford University’s StartX accelerator, the company, previously raised $1.5 million from the Stanford-StartX Fund, the Knight Foundation, and media veterans like the former WSJ executives Gordon Crovitz and Jim Friedlich, Campus Televideo founder Ned Lamont and ABC News veteran Tom Yellin who have invested in earlier rounds. The Watchup app is available on Apple’s App Store, Google Play, Google Glass and Amazon App Store.
“The visual web is becoming increasingly important to digital media companies, and we see Watchup as being a key innovator in this space,” said Pat Talamantes, McClatchy’s president and CEO. “Given the strides McClatchy has been making to expand our own video content, we knew we had to be involved with Adriano and his team.”
“We are so excited about this round because we have brought together a select group of media innovators who are willing to contribute their industry knowledge and their content to help us reinvent the video news experience,” said Adriano Farano, Watchup’s co-founder and CEO. “The Watchup family now includes investors with hundreds of years of journalistic history combined and yet, they are all realizing how dramatically watching habits have changed.”
According to Adobe’s U.S. Digital Video Benchmark online TV video consumption saw a 388% year-to-year spike with gaming consoles and OTT as the fastest growing consumer devices.
“Watchup’s vision is changing the way we watch news like Hulu, Netflix, and others have done for entertainment,” said Watchup’s Farano. “We want it to be the answer to a growing demand from Millennials, cord-cutters, and other digitally savvy users who want to better understand the world as history unfolds before their eyes.”