July 2016. Our executive team has worked together in a variety of ways for 20 years, achieving a series of digital media successes that pretty well qualifies the group as digital media pioneers. The idea for Maven is one we’ve discussed for several years: expanding a proven model to non-sports categories. Over dinner in Seattle, after leaving Scout as a team, we mapped out exactly what we wanted to do and how we wanted to do it. The next day we literally hit the ground running, fueled by our incredibly talented team of engineers -- engineers who built Rivals.com and Scout.com and with resumes including the likes of Google, Amazon and Microsoft.
It's a very rare opportunity to start a company with a fully-formed vision and team, but that's exactly what happened, and funding followed quickly.
December 2016. Two months later, we announced closing of the deal taking Maven public and held a national conference in Dallas to present our vision to more than 30 prestigious independent publishers from a cross section of categories. Many agreed right there at the conference to become founding partners. See Maven Completes Transaction, Now Publicly Traded; Hosts National Channel Partner Conference
January 2017. By January’s end we’d reached agreement with two dozen founding partners and began rolling out a series of announcements that spoke to the depth and breadth of their assembled talent. The list ranged from Emmy Award-winning car care expert Scotty Kilmer to Pulitzer Prize-winning immigrant rights activist Jose Vargas to the Human Rights Foundation (UPDATE: We’ve signed 72 partners as of October 1, and you’ll find short bios on them here).
May 2017. In May, we held our first Founders’ Summit, bringing publishers literally from around the globe to our corporate home in Seattle for the unveiling of our platform and the “preview” launch of our first eight channels. “Maven is legitimately offering a new vision; something different, something new and refreshing and I think incredibly valuable to major brands. Consumers will get it instantly,” Maven board member Ross Levinsohn told the audience. For an excellent summary and video of channel partner insights at the event, click here.
At the same time, we announced that Josh Jacobs, one of the true trailblazers in building and monetizing digital media platforms, had joined our management team as executive co-chair and full-time officer. Since then, he’s done incredible work to position us for significant, long-term growth on the advertising side of the operation.
August 2017. We announced plans for our formal launch in the fourth quarter and described our goal of partnering with 1,000 high-scale, category-specific Mavens – partners with organic, highly engaged audiences – over the next few years. “We envision more than 100 million organic, unique users – each engaging with independently operated Mavens on the network,” said James Heckman. Click here to read the full release.
September 2017. In one year, we’ve built a comprehensive platform that brings together massive scale, high efficiency and major audience engagement. Mavens and users enjoy a deep feature set including content management, editorial workflow, video, social, notifications, community moderation, sophisticated access controls, premium memberships, native mobile apps, with more features released continuously. Our platform brings together, in one coalition, Mavens operating channels across 20 passion-based, content verticals for consumers and offering advertisers access to tens of millions of consumers in a premium canvas. To learn more, check out our Investor Room.
It's been an amazingly productive year, and we look forward to the year to come. Thanks again for your interest in Maven.