Complex Networks lost about $150 million in funding after Go90’s demise. Here’s how it bounced back.

  • Complex Networks benefited from Verizon’s big bet on digital video when it gave the company an estimated $150 million to make series for mobile video service Go90.
  • Verizon shut down Go90 a year ago, forcing Complex to reset its goals.
  • But Complex was able to find its footing because it already had an established video audience, it got to keep the Go90 shows, and its series are evergreen and have a long shelf life.
  • Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.

Three years ago, Complex Networks was riding high.

Verizon and Hearst had just teamed up to buy the sneaker- and hip hop culture-focused media company. Verizon wanted to use Complex’s digital video know-how to serve young men ad-supported entertainment on their mobile phones. It paid Complex Networks well — roughly $150 million, according to two sources close to the situation — to produce shows that would appear on Go90, a new video service where young people could watch shows on their phone for free from the likes of HuffPost, Vice, and AwesomenessTV.

Read more: ‘We’re an anomaly’: Complex Networks ignored the digital media playbook,

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