betaworks Raises $20 Million, Plans On Leading The Next Generation Of Manhattan Media


According to TechCrunch, New York City-based startup studio betaworks is raising $20 million in new capital, with A-list names like Tumblr founder David Karp, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, Twitter co-founder Ev Williams and Nickelodeon founder Gerry Laybourne joining the round.

Since its 2008 founding, betaworks has helped build Digg, Instapaper, Dots, Bitly and numerous other digital businesses, and CEO John Borthwick has previously said that,“Phase One of Betaworks was building great companies. And Phase Two is really building Betaworks as an operating media company.”

‘Media company’ is a pretty broad term, but Borthwick seems to be interested in the most literal interpretation — original content and advertising-based revenue models drive many betaworks companies. Digg has recently begun running sponsored posts, and Giphy — an animated gifs search engine — has forged creative partnerships with ‘The Hunger Games’ and the Gap.

Inculcating yourself into the media elite is never an easy task — especially for techies — but with Katie Couric headed to Yahoo and the New York Times struggling to stem a staff exodus, the time seems ripe for new brands of glossy media content. To this extent, Borthwick is slowly building himself an enviable network of Manhattan media natives, particularly with Gerry Laybourne, who is currently working on “something in the kids space” with betaworks.

betaworks is also led by Chief Revenue Officer Janet Balis, who previously served as publisher of the Huffington Post Media Group.