By Sabrina Lynch
Queensbridge Ventures sold Pluto TV to Viacom for $340M
Pluto TV has 12M monthly subscribers
Nas has once again secured another bag based on investments that his Queensbridge Ventures firm has made. This time around they’ve sold their portfolio company Pluto TV for $340 million to Viacom (VIAB +3.26 %). As a major contender in the digital entertainment market, Pluto TV will now have access to resources to exponentially grow their consumer base. Viacom in turn, will profit from Pluto TV’s existing distribution deals and expand its global footprint.
Why This Matters: Research by Apptopia found Pluto TV secured more users than Youtube TV and HBO Now combined since July 2013, and confirmed its position as a challenger brand to watch. Culturally rich viewership has come to the forefront of priorities for broadcast conglomerates, primarily because African American consumers stream more videos than the total U.S. population. Comcast recently acquired minority-owned networks Cleo TV and Afro. Furthermore, minority-owned streaming services able to accelerate at the speed of Pluto TV are few and far between.
As a rap icon Nas is paving the way for other black venture capitalist to learn from his investment strategy. Unfortunately, nearly 81% of venture capital firms do not have a black Investor. As a co-founder of the equity firm Queensbridge Venture Partners, Nas has built an enviable and diversified portfolio of investments. These companies include household names like Lyft and Dropbox, along with Pillpack, SeatGeek and home-security service Ring, the latter was bought by Amazon (AMZN +1.45%) for a reported $1.2 billion in March 2018.
The success of the partnership that Nas’ venture fund has orchestrated between Viacom and Pluto TV will now rely on its ability to beat subscriber estimates and bring in the ad dollars. If the company can remain a category leader, Viacom’s stock value will be heavily influenced by its expansion into the global market.
Situational Awareness: Pluto TV and Viacom’s financial marriage is now in the honeymoon period. Viacom has been making stealth moves to bolster its business across their digital and editorial operations, especially since they’ve acquired Awesomeness TV and VideoCon within the past year.
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