WPP, the owner of JWT and AKQA, has made a number of digital investments, including taking a stake in the micro-blogging platform Muzy and putting money into the YouTube network Fullscreen.
The investment in Muzy was made through WPP’s new investment arm WPP Ventures, which is based in Silicon Valley and run by its president Tom Bedecarré, who is also chairman of AKQA.
The micro-blogging platform is the first investment from WPP Ventures since it was set up to explore early-stage investments in technology companies that could deliver innovative services to WPP and its clients.
Muzy is adding more than one million new users each month and will use the cash to "further scale" its engineering team and develop the suite of creative publishing tools for its platform. Muzy employs fewer than ten people.
WPP also took part in the first round of funding for the Fullscreen global network, alongside former News Corporation president Peter Chernin’s investment company, The Chernin Group, and Comcast Ventures, the VC arm of Comcast Corporation.
Fullscreen generated more than 2.5 billion monthly views and claims to have more than 150 million subscribers. It employs 150 people.
The YouTube channel operator will use the investment to support its domestic and international expansion, including content, technology and sales, prioritising fast-growing markets such as Brazil, India and Russia.
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