WndrCo, the venture capital firm founded by veteran Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg, helped The Young Turks raise $20 million in a new round of funding, the company announced on Tuesday.
The fundraise is the first institutional investment in the company’s history and is indicative of TYT’s success in digital video, OTT content and developing a large-scale engaged community.
In addition to Katzenberg’s WndrCo, the round was led by growth equity firm 3L Capital and included participation from Greycroft and e.ventures. The company is expected to use the investment to expand its roster of management and creative talent, enhance its subscription offering, expand marketing initiatives and strengthen content and community engagement.
“The past few years have been wildly successful for TYT, but we started to realize we’re just at the tip of the iceberg,” Young Turks CEO and co-founder Cenk Uygur said. “We’ve perfected news and commentary that appeals to the highly-desirable young, cord-cutting audience. Now, we’ve found partners at 3L, Greycroft, e.ventures and WndrCo who believe in our vision and will help us grow exponentially.”
With more than 200 million views a month, TYT is one of the largest online news and entertainment networks in the world. It has grown from an online radio show in 2002 to the No. 1 digital video provider in the news and entertainment category, including the longest-running daily live streamed show online.
Back in January, Katzenberg raised $591.5 million for WndrCo, according to an SEC filing. He left DreamWorks after selling the animation studio to Comcast Corp’s NBCUniversal for $3.8 billion in 2016, picking up a $391 million payday in the process. He transitioned to a role as chairman of DreamWorks New Media, overseeing the studio’s digital properties, including multi-channel network Awesomeness TV. Katzenberg will also serve as a consultant to NBCUniversal.
The veteran movie executive was the chairman of Walt Disney Studios between 1984 and 1994, a period in which the Mouse House cranked out mega-hits like “The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin” and “The Lion King.” Katzenberg left Disney after clashing with then-CEO Michael Eisner, co-founding DreamWorks SKG in 1994 with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen.