AI Leader Snags Wazee In Half-Cash, Half-Stock Deal


A Denver-based tech company focused on digital content licensing, rights and clearances for the TV industry has been snapped up by the Costa Mesa, Calif.-based purveyor of a SaaS-based operating systems for AI that’s increasingly getting noticed by both radio and television industry programming and sales leaders: Veritone Inc.

In an agreement announced by Veritone on Monday (8/13), it is paying $7.5 million and awarding $7.5 million in Veritone common stock to Wazee Digital, known for its cloud-native video management and licensing services.

Once Veritone completes its acquisition of Wazee, it will market the brand to the media and entertainment market and the government sector.

Veritone says the transaction provides its customers with the ability “to drive expanded revenue opportunities from their existing video, still images and audio assets.”

Monetization of content is something both Wazee Digital and Veritone have had in common. Wazee promotes itself as a company with tools allowing users to gain “complete control over content, so that assets reach their rightful audiences around the globe.”

According to Veritone, Wazee had 2017 full-year revenue of more than $19 million.

Closing is expected by August 31.

San Francisco-based GCA Advisors served as banking advisor to Veritone on this transaction. Waller Capital Partners, headquartered in New York, advised Wazee Digital.

Explaining the transaction, Veritone founder and CEO Chad Steelberg said, “Wazee Digital has a dynamic content licensing and asset management business, one of the most comprehensive operational platforms for monetization of digital media assets with a roster of blue-chip customers. Now, as a result of the recent integration between Wazee Digital’s asset management platform and Veritone’s operating system for Artificial Intelligence — aiWARE — joint customers can index, categorize, and package content on Wazee Digital’s platform, resulting in additional revenue opportunities.”

Wazee CEO Harris Morris added, “We’re extremely excited to leverage our best-in-class asset management and monetization capabilities with Veritone’s unique cloud-based AI operating system. The combined solution will provide existing Wazee Digital customers such as HBO, Bloomberg, Viacom, and FremantleMedia a proven, productized, and enterprise-grade solution to intelligently identify new ways to capitalize the value of their marquee content and ensure that content securely reaches its rightful audiences around the globe.”

Veritone and Wazee Digital have been collaborating together as technology partners since 2017, with the first integration of the companies’ products completed in April.

Following the merger, Wazee Digital’s management team “will add leadership and expertise” by integrating into Veritone’s existing team.