TheWrap.com, the Hollywood business focused blog started by former NYT Hollywood correspondent Sharon Waxman, has closed a $2 million second round of funding, she tells us. The round was led by Maveron, the VC firm co-founded by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and other first round investors. The site raised $500K in seed round and then undisclosed, though above a million, in first round.
This funding comes just as there have been stories by her fierce Hollywood rival Nikki Finke, alleging that TheWrap was running out of money, and that multiple VCs weren’t interested in investing. (BI covered the controversy here, and if you really want the gory details of the Hollywood snipe fest among all the trades, read this detailed post by HollywoodNews.
The new funding for TheWrap will be used for expansion of news coverage, Waxman told me, including a redesign that’s coming later in summer. The site started 15 months ago, and has broken some major stories including the Comcast-*NBC Universal* deal, though it pulled the trigger too fast on the exact mechanics of the deal. Waxman has become a fixture on TV of late, and just did a deal with “Reliable Sources” on CNN to be regular contributor to the Howard Kurtz-led show.
As for revenues, it is a usual cycle (in more ways than one) of seasonal awards advertising, something the company and other trades have a figure out a way to scale beyond. The company has also launched events, including movie screenings (with sponsors) and other bigger events to come.
I did a 15 minute video interview with Waxman in Santa Monica, on my trip this week there, and talked about a lot of issues including revenue development. She wouldn’t address the Finke issue. At all. Video embedded after the jump.
Among issues discussed:
— Usage of this new money.
— The oldline trades likes Variety and Hollywood Reporter and their future.
— Covering Hollywood and retraining the existing trade journalists.
— Developing revenue streams and expanding beyond Hollywood.
— The feud with Newser and Michael Wolff.