Data-driven digital publishing company Jet Media Network has raised USD 2.5 million (about Rs 18.4 crore) in funding, led by Los Angeles Media Fund. The seed round also saw participation from investors including 10X Capital, Gaingels, JetSynthesys, Spivy Private Capital and Equinox Systems, a statement said.
The announcement comes as Jet Media Network prepares to launch its first mobile app a collaboration with former Brazil, Barcelona and AC Milan football (soccer) superstar, Ronaldinho. The platform will offer exclusive content, auctions, social media aggregation and e-commerce, with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) also among its capabilities.
Jet Media Network continues to assemble a pipeline of high-profile athletes and celebrities, seeking to have more ownership of their fans and to capitalise on the creator economy with bespoke mobile destinations that create the ultimate direct-to-fan (DTF) experience, the statement said. The applications will be free for users with an option for a monthly subscription to unlock enhanced benefits, it added.
After leaving Sony Entertainment, Jesper Schertiger (Jet Media Network CEO and co-founder) partnered with Rajan Navani, Vice Chairman of the Jetline Group of Companies, leading to the founding of Jet Media Network. Supported by Navani, Schertiger founded Jet Media Network with Robin Shelley, and former top-flight footballer, Robbie Earle MBE, who now co-hosts the Premier League show for NBC Sports.
The three recognized the trend of social media networks controlling the access of top creators to their own audiences by limiting the organic reach of posts in exchange for payments. Jet Media Network seeks to create communities where talent can attract, interact, and transact with fans across a full spectrum of offerings. The platform currently focuses on leading athletes but will expand its world of icons to include other celebrities, musicians, actors, gamers, influencers, public figures and others.
The investment demonstrates the shift in direction and change in appetite for celebrities to have greater ownership over their brand and content, and in essence, to become their own publisher. It also demonstrates the belief that Jet Media Network has the right technology, strategy, and leadership in place to succeed, Schertiger said.