If you’ve been on the floor of the NYSE lately, you may have noticed a new logo: Cheddar. Broadcasting live from Post 10 on the floor, NYC-based Cheddar is a new live-streaming financial news network covering tech, products, and companies positioned to make an impact.
Founded in 2016 by former BuzzFeed president Jon Steinberg, Cheddar has grown to prominence rapidly by conducting millennial oriented live-streaming conversations and interviews with top business influencers across a range of industries. The idea originated from the belief that the business-savvy millennial generation was being underserved in the financial news space. So, Steinberg stepped in to create what he viewed as a CNBC for millenials, and targeted this 18-34 year old demographic.
Steinberg became BuzzFeed’s first president when the company had only 15 employees. During his four years as president, Steinberg grew BuzzFeed from no revenue to over $60 million. But he had always desired to run a large media corporation. In an interview with Business Insider from 2016 Steinberg remarked, ‘I wanted to run something like Viacom.’ As a result, in May of 2014 Steinberg left BuzzFeed to take a position as CEO of the Daily Beast. Shortly into his tenure however, Steinberg realized maneuvering the large company was too cumbersome. According to Steinberg, “I started to think to myself, ‘What if I could do everything little again? What if I could make a decision and in ten minutes, just go do it?’” So in July of 2014, Steinberg resigned as CEO of the Daily Beast, and began his effort to found Cheddar.
The first new hire Steinberg made was Chief Content Officer, Peter Gorenstein. Gorenstein previously served as producer for Fox News and Bloomberg LP, as well as senior executive producer at Yahoo! Gorenstein’s role would oversee a full slate of productions and make recommendations on future show ideas. Along with Gorenstein, Steinberg hired Chief People Officer and General Counsel, Anjali Kumar. Kumar, a founding General Counsel at Warby Parker, and former Senior Counsel at Google, brought a potent mix of both startup and large scale business experience to the table. Then in August of 2016, Steinberg rounded out the team by hiring BuzzFeed Executive Vice President Eric Harris to serve as his company’s new president and COO.
In February of 2016, Cheddar closed $3 million of Series A funding led by Snapchat and Lightspeed Venture Partners. In September of that same year, a mere seven months after closing the initial round of funding, Cheddar closed another $10 million in Series B funding led again by Lightspeed Venture Partners. This time however Lightspeed was joined by Comcast Ventures. Finally in May of 2017, another seven months from the last round, Cheddar closed a third $19 million Series C round of funding, this time from seven investors including Amazon, AT&T, Comcast Ventures again, and the NYSE. All told, in the past year alone Cheddar has raised $32 million in funding, and as of May 2017, had a reported $85 million valuation.
Today Cheddar streams live on a variety of platforms including iHeartRadio, Amazon Prime, Facebook Live, YouTube, and Sling TV. Along with business news, Cheddar has now also expanded to Washington D.C where it streams live from the press briefing room at the White House. Along with politics, the company has also expanded to Los Angeles where it streams live from The Bungalow restaurant at the Fairmont Hotel in Santa Monica and covers entertainment. As Cheddar looks ahead to 2018, the New York City-based digital startup’s efforts to focus on the millenial market seems positioned to provide ample expansion opportunities.