VENN launches with $17M in seed funding

17 September 2019


Video Game Entertainment & News Network (VENN), an esports network headed by Ariel Thorn and Ben Kusin, has been announced.

The network, which is set to launch in 2020 with live studios in New York and Los Angeles, has raised $17 million (£13.61 million) in a seed funding round.

VENN announced
Photo credit: VENN

Kusin discussed the venture in a release: “Video games continue to define the culture of today’s youth. Streamers, casters, content creators, esports athletes – these are our new celebrities. VENN is giving this generation an overdue home and a heartbeat, with bi-coastal broadcast studios incorporating live audiences, premium production values, a 24/7 linear offering, and engaging and innovative formats that elevate and promote a culture traditionally overlooked by broadcast media.”

The round was co-led by esports investment firm BITKRAFT Esports Ventures. Those who also contributed with the funding include Mike Morhaime, Amy Morhaime, Kevin Lin, aXiomatic Gaming, BDMI, YuChiang Cheng, Lifeline Financial Group, and Reimagined Ventures.

Looking to unite the media landscape, VENN’s content will “span multiple categories of entertainment” through original programming.

Marc Merrill, Co-founder of Riot Games added: The exciting thing about VENN is its potential to expose what is so compelling about gaming culture to a wider audience. I look forward to seeing the content they create and the opportunities they’re going to open up for players everywhere.” 

Esports Insider Says: This is very exciting indeed. A platform full of original content with two industry veterans at the helm is an interesting concept and it’ll be interesting to see what content is produced.