|Industry||Internet Technology (2006-present)|
|Headquarters||Seattle, Washington, U.S.|
|Key people||Ben Elowitz (CEO)
Rob Grady (COO)
Chris Kollas (SVP, Strategy and Business Development)
Mike Howell (VP, Social and Audience Development)
Alex Weinstein (Head of Technology)
|Products||Technology platforms for the media industry, and wiki hosting|
|Revenue||Venture capital funded|
Wetpaint is a Seattle, Washington-based internet company, founded in 2005, that both publishes the website Wetpaint Entertainment, focused on entertainment news, and develops a proprietary technology platform, the Social Distribution System, that is used to provide analytics for its own website as well as other online publishers'. Wetpaint began as a wiki farm, hosting wikis using its own proprietary software, before moving into hosting of professional content in 2010; Wetpaint's wiki-hosting component was spun off completely in 2013.
In addition to their Seattle headquarters, Wetpaint also has offices in New York City.
Wetpaint was originally called Wikisphere, and began as a wiki farm, hosting wikis using proprietary software. It was co-founded in October 2005 by Ben Elowitz, who had previously co-founded the online jewelry retailer Blue Nile Inc. In December 2005, the company and site were renamed to Wetpaint. In October 2005, the company received its initial A round of venture capital funding of USD5.25 million from Trinity Ventures and Frazier Technology Ventures. Wetpaint closed a USD9.5 million 'B' round of funding in January 2007, adding Accel Partners to the list of investors. Wetpaint closed a Series C round of venture capital funding of USD25 million in May 2008. Investors included Accel Partners, Trinity Ventures, and Frazier Technology Ventures.
In July 2009, Wetpaint laid off 15 of their 56 employees. An additional 9 employees, including co-founders Kevin Flaherty and Alex Berg, were laid off in December. The company also decided to refocus the website on professionally created content. Both steps were taken as a result of declining online ad revenue.
During late 2010, Wetpaint re-launched its main homepage, at wetpaint.com, as the Wetpaint Entertainment platform, a set of new online TV fan destination sites, geared toward the female 18-34 demographic. The wiki farm was renamed "Wikis by Wetpaint", and was moved to the domain wetpaintcentral.com.
In December 2011, the company announced the Wetpaint Social Distribution System, analytical methods that provide an accurate, real-time, and continuously-updating picture of audience interests and responsiveness.
In October 2012, Hubert Burda Media, a leading international media company and organizers of the DLD Conferences, announced a license agreement with Wetpaint. Wetpaint provided its expertise in social media and licensed its proprietary Social Distribution System to Burda to drive increased reach, engagement and monetizeable actions from social networks back to Burda’s online properties.
In December 2012, Wetpaint reported that Wetpaint Entertainment had 15 million unique visitors monthly and 3 million fans on Facebook.
In January 2013, Wetpaint blocked a number of wikis for violation of terms of service.
In July 2013, the wiki platform moved to a new company, WikiFoundry.
Notable Wetpaint partners have included Fox Entertainment Group, HBO, Showtime, IGN, NY Giants, Houston Rockets, T-Mobile, HTC, Oracle Corporation, Hewlett-Packard, Discovery Channel, and Lucas Arts.
Wikis by Wetpaint
Over two million wikis were created on Wetpaint between 2005 and 2013.
The "Wikis by Wetpaint" platform let site administrators set permissions levels for their entire site, individual pages, and individual users.
These wikis were run by many users and pertained to many topics.
In July 2013, Wikis by Wetpaint was purchased by WikiFoundry. All wikis that were created under Wetpaint were switched over to the new WikiFoundry servers, and WikiFoundry took full control of the wiki platform.
- "Startup Wikisphere changes its name to Wetpaint". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 2005-12-01.
- Cook, John (2005-11-02). "Startup Wikisphere raises $5.25 million in 1st round". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
- "Wiki Providers Score Funding". Red Herring. 2007-02-22.
- "Wetpaint.com - 50 Best Websites 2007". Time Magazine. 2007-07-09.
- "Wetpaint Goes Social". press release (Wetpaint). 2008-03-10. Retrieved 2008-05-11.
- Ontela, Visible, Wetpaint Win WTIA Awards
- LEAD411 LAUNCHES "HOTTEST SEATTLE COMPANIES" AWARDS
- "Seattle Layoff Update:Targeted Genetics, Wetpaint, Google, and Others Cut Staff". xconomy. 2009-08-26.
- "Exclusive: Wetpaint cuts staff, changes focus to publishing". John Cook, TechFlash. 2009-12-04.
- Wetpaint Launches Online TV Fan Destination With Coverage Of This Fall's Most Anticipated TV Programs
- "Wetpaint Entertainment Rapidly Becomes a Leading Online Entertainment News Source Due to Wetpaint’s Proprietary Social Distribution System".
- "Wetpaint Entertainment Now Attracts More Than 10 Million Monthly Unique Visitors; Drives Almost 30% of its Traffic Via Faceboo". Retrieved 9 August 2012.
- "Hubert Burda Media Implements Wetpaint’s Proprietary Social Distribution System".
- "Discussion: AnnouncementReported". Retrieved 12 April 2013.
- Partner With Wetpaint
- "Systems Admin Job post". Wetpaint. 2010-06-25.
- Wetpaint Central Permissions Page