Jan 27, 2017

Jeffrey Katzenberg raises $600 million, but he's not done yet

(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Several news outlets yesterday picked up on an SEC filing for WndrCo, the new investment group put together by former DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. The filing revealed that WndrCo had raised just shy of $600 million.

Some additional notes, after speaking to people familiar with the situation:

  • This is only a first close. Expect the final number to be closer to $750 million. Original plans were to target $500 million, but commitments came in fast and furious over the past several weeks (particularly from China).
  • Katzenberg is the big name, but he's only one of three partners in WndrCo. The others are Ann Daly, former president of DreamWorks Animation, and Sujay Jaswa, the former Dropbox CFO who also spent time at venture firm NEA. '
  • Others involved on a full-time basis (but not listed on the Form D) include Anthony Saleh (best known as the music manager who got Nas into the VC world), ChenLi Wang (ex-head of product management at Dropbox), finance director Nilesh Vashee (ex-Virgin America/Yale Investment Office). Part-time advisors include Jason Hirschhorn and Fazal Merchant.
  • The actual investment strategy has moved around a lot, which means most folks are really betting on the team more than the plan. A Fortune profile of Katzenberg from last fall suggested that WndrCo is likely to follow a flexible, model in the vein of IAC (Katzenberg began his career working for IAC's Barry Diller), and that may still be the best way to think about it.

Through a spokesperson, WndrCo declined to comment.

Go deeper

Situational awareness

Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Mike Bloomberg offers to release women from 3 NDAs
  2. Wells Fargo to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges
  3. Bloomberg campaign says Tennessee vandalism "echoes language" from Bernie supporters
  4. Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers
  5. Nearly half of Republicans support pardoning Roger Stone

Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges

Clients use an ATM at a Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.

Bloomberg offers to release women from 3 nondisclosure agreements

Mike Bloomberg. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg said Friday his company will release women identified to have signed three nondisclosure agreements so they can publicly discuss their allegations against him if they wish.

Why it matters, via Axios' Margaret Talev: Bloomberg’s shift in policy toward NDAs comes as he tries to stanch his loss of female support after the Las Vegas debate. It is an effort to separate the total number of harassment and culture complaints at the large company from those directed at him personally. That could reframe the criticism against him, but also protect the company from legal fallout if all past NDAs were placed in jeopardy.