SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --Wikia, Inc.'s FANDOM announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement for an investment from TPG-backed media and technology veteran, Jon Miller. The transaction is expected to close in March and is subject to customary closing conditions. Additional terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The investment will provide Wikia, Inc. with industry-leading resources and significant operating and growth capital for the market-leading FANDOM brand. As part of the investment, Miller will join Wikia, Inc. as Co-chairman with current Chairman and Founder Jimmy Wales. Miller brings a history of leadership at media and technology companies such as IAC, AOL, Viacom, and News Corporation and Fox Inc., where he most recently served as Chief Digital Officer and Chairman and CEO, Digital Media Group of News Corporation. Wales is also founder of Wikipedia and founder, Chair Emeritus and Board Member of The Wikimedia Foundation.
"This partnership with Jon signals an incredibly exciting time for the FANDOM brand," said Wikia, Inc. President and CEO Craig Palmer. "We have established a destination that is becoming the go-to place for entertainment fans to learn and celebrate their passion for movies, television, video games and more, and is an increasingly important vehicle for marketers to engage critical audiences that, in a fragmented media landscape, are challenging to reach. I'm proud that FANDOM's achievements have been recognized through this investment and look forward to leveraging TPG and Jon's relationships and expertise in the media industry to open the door for accelerated growth."
The investment will fuel FANDOM's steadfast momentum and caps a remarkable transformation over the last few years from its roots as a platform company focused solely on entertainment communities. Today, FANDOM garners almost 200 million global uniques* and delivers comprehensive entertainment news coverage and premium content while continuing to grow its topic-specific fan communities, now numbering over 400,000. As one of the largest content sites on the web by total audience reach, FANDOM is also number one in audience composition for teens (P13-17)**, young adults (P18-24), millennials (P18-34) and adults (P18-49) in the comScore U.S. Top 100 Properties***. FANDOM has also expanded its sales organization globally beyond the U.S. to the U.K., Germany, Australia, Singapore and Latin America.
"I am excited to partner with the FANDOM team and TPG," said Miller. "We are in a challenging time for digital media but two things are clear: fans are increasingly using digital media to engage their entertainment passions and there is vastly increasing investment in entertainment content creation from an expanded set of companies. Within this rapidly changing landscape there are going to be winners and losers and I strongly believe FANDOM is a winner."
"For more than a decade, we've studied and invested behind the creation, consumption, and distribution of content. Within entertainment, consumer demand for interesting and engaging content continues to grow," said David Trujillo, Partner at TPG. "With its unique user generated content model, hundreds of thousands of communities around that content and growing editorial, FANDOM has developed a differentiated platform in an increasingly dynamic market. We are excited to support FANDOM in its transformation into a leading fan destination across all entertainment genres."
FANDOM plans to deploy the growth capital from the transaction to drive significant audience and revenue growth with investment in key personnel and increased capabilities in editorial and video programming, sales, marketing, product, engineering, and research and insights. It will also use the capital to source and execute on opportunities for M&A in the digital market.
Pursuit Advisory LP advised Wikia, Inc. in this transaction.
*Source: 199.998 million uniques, Google Analytics January 2018; 188.7 million uniques, Quantcast January 2018 **Source: comScore Media Metrix, October 2017, U.S. Desktop 2+ & Mobile 13+ *** Source: comScore Media Metrix, October 2017, U.S. Multi-Platform Desktop 2+ & Mobile 18+
TPG is a leading global alternative asset firm founded in 1992 with approximately $79 billion of assets under management and offices in Austin, Beijing, Boston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Luxembourg, Melbourne, Moscow, Mumbai, New York, San Francisco, Seoul, and Singapore. TPG's investment platforms are across a wide range of asset classes, including private equity, growth venture, real estate, credit, and public equity. TPG aims to build dynamic products and options for its investors while also instituting discipline and operational excellence across the investment strategy and performance of its portfolio. For more information, visit www.tpg.com.
About Wikia, Inc.
Launched in 2006 by Founder Jimmy Wales, Wikia, Inc. is home to FANDOM, a global entertainment media brand powered by fan passion.
Driven by a mission to make fans better fans, FANDOM is a destination to explore, contribute to and celebrate the world of pop culture through comprehensive fan-expert knowledge, news and feature-based multiplatform content, and discussion. FANDOM has the largest concentration of Millennials (13-34) in the comScore Top 100 and reaches 75 percent of teens in the U.S. (comScore 2017).
FANDOM is available at www.fandom.com and at fans' fingertips through a personalized FANDOM app on iOS and Android mobile devices. FANDOM has a global audience of almost 200 million uniques and encompasses over 400,000 fan communities. It currently features 55 million pages of content, inclusive of video.
FANDOM operates internationally with offices in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, London, Sydney, Germany, Singapore and Poland.