Disney, Haim Saban invest $15M in media company co-founded by Olmert’s son

Julie Wiener

Haim Saban, at a news conference on August 5, 2005, in Munich, Germany, is an Israeli Hollywood mogul. (Jan Pitman/Getty Images)

Israeli-American entertainment mogul Haim Saban at a news conference in Germany, Aug. 5, 2005. (Jan Pitman/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Playbuzz, a media company co-founded by the son of former Israeli 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.

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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.


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.

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“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. 

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