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Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryInternet technology (2006–2018)
FoundedOctober 2005
HeadquartersNew York City, U.S.
ProductsTechnology platforms for the media industry; formerly wiki hosting
RevenueVenture capital funded
Number of employees
Websitehttp://www.wetpaint.com (defunct as of mid-2020)

Wetpaint was an Internet company and a wholly owned subsidiary of Function(X). Founded in 2005, Wetpaint both published the website Wetpaint Entertainment, focused on entertainment news, and developed a proprietary technology platform, the Social Distribution System, that was 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 after being purchased by Wikifoundry.[1] Wikifoundry ceased operations in June 2021, decommissioning the original Wetpaint wiki-farm after 15 years[2]


Wetpaint was originally called Wikisphere, and begun 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.[3] In October 2005, the company received its initial A round of venture capital funding of US$5.25 million from Trinity Ventures and Frazier Technology Ventures.[4] Wetpaint closed a US$9.5 million 'B' round of funding in January 2007, adding Accel Partners to the list of investors.[5] Wetpaint closed a Series C round of venture capital funding of US$25 million in May 2008. Investors included Accel Partners, Trinity Ventures, and Frazier Technology Ventures.

Wetpaint was named by Time Magazine as one of the 50 Best Websites of 2007.[6]

In March 2008, Wetpaint added social networking features.[7]

In July 2009, Wetpaint laid off 15 of their 56 employees.[8] An additional 9 employees, including co-founders Kevin Flaherty and Alex Berg, were laid off in December.[9] The company also decided to refocus the website on professionally created content. Both steps were taken as a result of declining online ad revenue.[9]

During late 2009, 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.[10] The wiki farm was renamed "Wikis by Wetpaint", and was moved to the domain wetpaintcentral.com.

In December 2010, the company announced the Wetpaint Social Distribution System.[11]

In December 2012, Wetpaint was acquired by Viggle,[12] an entertainment rewards platform, which was shortly renamed to its former name, Function(X).

Updates to wetpaint.com stopped in 2018, leaving the site stagnant until it finally went defunct in mid-2020.


  1. ^ Wet Paint Wiki - WikiFoundry Central, 2013-09-01, retrieved 2017-10-25
  2. ^ "WikiFoundry". www.wikifoundry.com. Retrieved 2021-07-06.
  3. ^ "Startup Wikisphere changes its name to Wetpaint". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 2005-12-01.
  4. ^ Cook, John (2005-11-02). "Startup Wikisphere raises $5.25 million in 1st round". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
  5. ^ "Wiki Providers Score Funding". Red Herring. 2007-02-22.
  6. ^ "Wetpaint.com - 50 Best Websites 2007". Time Magazine. 2007-07-09. Archived from the original on July 12, 2007.
  7. ^ "Wetpaint Goes Social". press release. Wetpaint. 2008-03-10. Retrieved 2008-05-11.
  8. ^ "Seattle Layoff Update:Targeted Genetics, Wetpaint, Google, and Others Cut Staff". xconomy. 2009-08-26.
  9. ^ a b "Exclusive: Wetpaint cuts staff, changes focus to publishing". John Cook, TechFlash. 2009-12-04.
  10. ^ Wetpaint Launches Online TV Fan Destination With Coverage Of This Fall's Most Anticipated TV Programs
  11. ^ "Wetpaint Entertainment Rapidly Becomes a Leading Online Entertainment News Source Due to Wetpaint's Proprietary Social Distribution System".
  12. ^ "Viggle Acquires Wetpaint". Press Release. 2013-12-16.

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