IAC/InterActiveCorp is to invest $20m in seed capital in Brightline – a joint e-publishing venture between heavyweight media executives – with expertise from Brooklyn-based e-publisher, Atavist, according to news provider New York Times. Scott Rudin, the film and theatre producer, and Barry Diller, the chairman of IAC/InterActiveCorp and media executive behind the creation of Fox, are joining together to challenge elite e-book publishers, the company added in a statement. Rudin and Frances Coady, a longtime publishing executive, have formed a partnership with Diller in a new venture called Brightline which will pay large advances to compete for high-profile authors. It will publish e-books and eventually traditional books in a partnership with Atavist, a publisher with expertise in producing electronic books and articles. The company received interest from Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, who was among a group of high-level technology executives to jointly invest $1m of seed funding in May for Atavist, which began publishing e-books for tablet use in 2011. A specialist in producing multimedia storytelling, Atavist was conceived by three friends — Evan Ratliff, Jefferson Rabb and Nicholas Thompson. The company received attention for its content management system. The early backers included Marc Andreessen, a founder of Netscape and the Founders Fund which has among its leaders Peter Thiel a founder of PayPal and Sean Parker, Facebook’s first president. The Brightline business partnership grew from informal discussions this summer in which Diller and Rudin discussed paying as much as $10 million for a controlling interest in Atavist, according to the New York Times. Diller said: “Publishing will change more in the next ten years than it has in the last hundred. Go to Atavist on an iPad and see their remarkable integration of text, data, voice and video. Go to Frances Coady’s deep and broad expertise in publishing over the last 20 years, and then go to Scott Rudin’s ingenuity and creativity across films, television, and theater. We have the resources and they have the ability, using Atavist’s technology and digital smarts, to play a continuing and significant role in that transformation.”
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IAC/InterActiveCorp seeds $20m Brightline
Sep 24, 2012 • Ben Bostock
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