Disney invests millions in company co-founded by Olmert’s son
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Disney invests millions in company co-founded by Olmert’s son

Israeli-American billionaire Haim Saban also among main investors in quizz startup Playbuzz

This file photo taken on August 13, 2015 shows a sign above the entrance at Disneyland Paris in Marne-la-Vallee. (AFP / BERTRAND GUAY)
This file photo taken on August 13, 2015 shows a sign above the entrance at Disneyland Paris in Marne-la-Vallee. (AFP / BERTRAND GUAY)

Playbuzz, a media company co-founded by the son of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, has raised $15 million in funding, most of it from billionaire Israeli-American mogul Haim Saban and the Walt Disney Co.

The company, which provides a platform for media companies to create quizzes and other interactive features, said in a news release that the new investment will go toward expanding its sponsored-content business.

The largest chunk of the new funding for the firm led by Shaul Olmert comes from Saban Ventures, an affiliate of the Saban Capital Group.

Saban, whose corporate website describes him as a “worldwide pioneer and leader in the entertainment industry,” was born in Egypt, immigrated to Israel as a child and has lived in Los Angeles since 1983.

Haim Saban at a media summit in Sun Valley, Idaho on July 8, 2009 (AP/Nati Harnik)
Haim Saban at a media summit in Sun Valley, Idaho on July 8, 2009 (AP/Nati Harnik)

According to Reuters, thousands of publishers, including Time, HBO and USA Today, use Playbuzz. (JTA has used it, too.) The company has 100 employees, 60 of them in Israel.

“People are becoming impatient and don’t read a lot today,” Shaul Olmert, Playbuzz’s New York-based CEO, told Reuters. “Traditional media is usually long-form articles or video, and they don’t make sense in an era where people discover content on a 4-inch screen.”

Co-founded in 2012 by Olmert and Tom Pachys, Playbuzz describes itself as “the leading global platform for publishers and brands to create content people love.” Along with New York, it has offices in Tel Aviv, London, Nashville, Tennessee, and Hamburg, Germany.

Shaul Olmert (Courtesy)
Shaul Olmert (Courtesy)
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