Wetpaint, a long-running Seattle consumer startup, was sold today for around $30 million to New York-based Viggle.
Viggle runs a mobile app and loyalty program for TV and music consumption. Wetpaint is a “social publisher” of content on TV shows, entertainment news and fashion that’s relayed through social networks, reaching 12 million monthly unique users.
Wetpaint will continue as a wholly-owned subsidiary producing content for its users, who will be introduced to Viggle’s reward program in the coming months, according to a release.
No layoffs will result and Wetpaint may grow its presence in Seattle, according to Wetpaint President Ben Elowitz, who earlier co-founded online jeweler Blue Nile.
Wetpaint started in 2005 as a platform for building wiki web sites then pivoted during the recession toward the entertainment publishing model and basically relaunched in 2010, raising $40 million along the way. It now employs 47, including about a dozen at a satellite office in New York.
Elowitz said Wetpaint had a number of suitors before conversations began with Viggle a few months ago.
“We saw that we could do a lot more with building audiences across Wetpaint and Viggle,” he said.
Here’s a quote from Viggle Chief Executive Greg Consiglio in the release:
“Wetpaint is the perfect complement to our business for users, TV network partners and advertisers. This combined company brings together Viggle’s proven promotion, entertainment rewards and monetization capabilities with Wetpaint’s reach, social distribution technologies and best-in-class content. Wetpaint leverages the power of social media to ensure TV fans are getting the latest news and commentary about the shows they love, and enables us to expand our offering to before, during and after the show airs.”
The companies said they’ll provide further details of their integration “in the coming weeks.”