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VENN closes $26m Series A funding

The esports and gaming broadcast network secured Nexstar Media Group as an exclusive local television partner

Gaming broadcast network VENN closed a $26 million Series A funding round.

It was led by seed investor Bitkraft and new investor Nexstar Media Group. The latter will appoint a member to VENN's board of directors, and also "secured content and sales category exclusivity for local television broadcasting," the announcement said.

Existing investors Eldridge, WISE Ventures, Alumni Ventures Group, and vice chair of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment Josh Kroenke also participated in the round.

VENN also appointed Jeff Jacobs as executive vice president and general manager. He previously was co-founder and president at production company Skyline New Media, and also spent over 15 years at Viacom working in the MTV Music and Entertainment Group.

VENN recently secured a deal with US distributor The Roku Channel, which boasts 40 million active accounts.

VENN was unveiled in 2019 by Vivendi and Riot Games veterans Ben Kusin and Ariel Horn. The service launched in August 2020.

Kusin commented: "With this new funding round, VENN is positioned for its next phase of growth as we plan to further expand our content creation capabilities and continue to enhance the distribution of our 'instant and everywhere' viewing experience.

"We're proud to welcome Nexstar as an important strategic investor and exclusive local television partner as we leverage the national reach of their 197 television stations, related digital multicast signals, and expansive digital properties with over 100M MAU and 1B monthly page views in the United States."

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Marie Dealessandri

Deputy Editor

Marie Dealessandri joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2019 to head its Academy section. A journalist since 2012, she started in games in 2016 at B2B magazine MCV. She can be found (rarely) tweeting @mariedeal, usually on a loop about Baldur’s Gate and the Dead Cells soundtrack. GI resident Moomins expert.