October 18, 2016--SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- James Heckman, former News Corp and Yahoo! senior executive and founder and CEO of two of the most successful professional publisher networks, Rivals.com and Scout.com, in collaboration with his veteran team of executives and engineers are launching an expert-driven, group media platform, TheMaven Network, Inc., which will feature premium, vertical content across multiple content segments. The product launch is planned for the first quarter of 2017.
Heckman will serve as CEO of TheMaven Network and is joined by Rivals.com co-founders and the entire executive team from Scout, including the CTO, COO, senior engineering team and its former chairman, one-time Yahoo! CEO Ross Levinsohn - who is rejoining Heckman as a board member of theMaven company. “The collective knowledge and power of this team puts it in an enviable position day one,” said Levinsohn. “TheMaven team managed to develop a business plan, design a state of the art platform from scratch, secure funding and are on-boarding high quality publishers, all within 100 days of inception – this speaks to their passion, loyalty and commitment as a team.”
TheMaven also announced today that it entered a definitive agreement to be acquired by a public trading acquisition oriented company, Integrated Surgical Systems, Inc. (ISSM), backed by MDB Capital Group. Post-acquisition, the name will change to TheMaven Network, Inc. A formal 8-K was filed by ISSM with the SEC this week. “Moving to become a public company so soon after inception is certainly bold, but it is consistent with our confidence in this team, the platform we are building, and the business plan we have fine-tuned and have dreamed about over the past two decades," Heckman said today. “And the backing of MDB Capital gives us the confidence we will have the necessary resources to execute on our aggressive strategy. We always believed the model will work in other categories and recent events gave us the motivation to pursue this long-held idea. TheMaven will be our sixth venture together for much of this team.”
The acquisition transaction in which ISS will acquire TheMaven company as a subsidiary is being led by MDB Capital and its CEO, Christopher Marlett, a long-time collaborator of Heckman’s. Marlett commented by saying, “We first met James in 2004 while he ran Scout.com and believed that professional publisher networks would be a big part of the future of journalism and the best method for passionate interest groups to collaborate. We feel fortunate to be backing James, who is effectively the father of the industry in this new endeavor to bring the right platform at the right time to these enormous groups that exist but don’t have a great platform for their content.”
Notable executives rejoining the team include CTO Ben Joldersma, recent Google senior engineer and former lead architect at Rivals, Scout and 5to1; COO Bill Sornsin, former head of MSN Core Technology, and co-founder/CTO at Rivals and Scout; and a dozen of the most highly skilled digital engineers in the industry - all based in Seattle.
Seattle--(GeekWire)-- James Heckman is getting the band back together.
The Rivals.com founder and former Yahoo executive today announced the formation of theMaven Network, a new digital media company that will feature premium stories and video “across multiple content segments.” It is set to launch in the first quarter of 2017.
Heckman is well known in entrepreneurial circles, having previously founded the online sports network Rivals.com during the dot-com boom.
Rivals.com — which raised $70 million in venture capital and hit the wall during the dot-com bust — eventually sold to Yahoo in 2007 for a reported purchase price of $100 million. That deal came well after Heckman had left to create Scout.com (founded in 2001), a competitive site to Rivals.com. He then went on to start online advertising startup 5to1.com, selling that company to Yahoo in 2011. After that, he led global media strategy for Yahoo, working closely with Yahoo CEO Ross Levinsohn.
In fact, Levinsohn and Heckman are reuniting behind theMaven. Heckman is serving as CEO, and Levinsohn is joining the board.
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