First Round Capital and Innovation Endeavors have backed #waywire, a startup video news network. Terms of the deal were not released. The New York-based company will provide original, syndicated and community created video content, the company said in a press release.
#waywire, a social artery for video news, inspiration and leading voices, today announced it has closed a seed capital round led by First Round Capital and Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, along with a group of angel investors. #waywire is focused on providing a network that will serve to fundamentally alter the tone and content of public dialogue around some of society’s most pressing issues. The network will provide original, syndicated and community created video content, allowing today’s digital generation to develop informed opinions on topics and then engage in positive debates and discussions.
“As soon as I was exposed to the #waywire concept, I knew there was something truly different here,” said Howard Morgan, Managing Partner of First Round Capital. “Most people agree that there is a real problem with the tone of our public dialogue. #waywire will work to change that by building a network that latches onto the attitudes of the digital generation and deliver rich content that helps to educate and inform as well as provide a forum to express opinions.”
The company was Co-founded and is led by Chief Executive Officer, Nathan Richardson along with Sarah Ross another #waywire Co-founder. Richardson brings an extensive track record of building and leading successful online properties including prior positions as president of Gilt City, CEO of ContentNext Media, head of Dow Jones online and General Manager of Yahoo! Finance. Ross comes to #waywire with digital experience from Katalyst Media, TechCrunch and Yahoo! Inc. Howard Morgan, of First Round Capital, will join the #waywire Board of Directors.
“There are networks to connect friends, and there are simple ways to share news articles or stories, but there is a definite opening in the social spectrum for a network where people can go and learn about issues that truly matter to them and engage with peers and experts on a wide range of topics,” said Richardson. “This existing gap contributes to the divisions that impact our national dialogue. We think #waywire can help address this problem by providing millions of people – especially the young, digitally savvy generation – a network for video news, inspiration and leading voices.”
Also among #waywire’s Co-founders is Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark, N.J. The idea behind #waywire came from Mayor Booker and grew from his desire to shift America’s public conversation away from divisiveness toward a debate focused on achieving solutions. The Mayor plans to contribute original content to the #waywire network where he will discuss America’s most significant challenges with a variety of thought leaders from diverse backgrounds. Mayor Booker will not be part of day-to-day management of #waywire and will have no editorial involvement in the network. His ownership stake will be maintained in a trust while he remains in public office.
“When I experienced the possibilities of social media and video, I saw the beginnings of an answer to a problem that is facing America. I believe #waywire can be a network for people everywhere to move away from partisan grandstanding toward a productive national debate about solutions to the problems we are all facing,” said Mayor Booker. “It is also extremely important to me that we not only begin to convene an online dialogue with as many people as possible, but provide a series of face-to-face conversations in live settings.”
#waywire will begin accepting email registrations for the site’s private beta release at www.waywire.com. Additional content agreements are expected in the coming weeks.
Founded in 2012, #waywire is a New York based corporation. #waywire is a social artery for video news, inspiration and leading voices. The #waywire network provides original, syndicated and community created video content, allowing today’s digital generation to develop informed opinions on topics and then engage in positive debates and discussions.