Wetpaint

Wetpaint was an Internet company and a wholly owned subsidiary of Function(X). Founded in 2005, Wetpaint both published the website Wetpaint Entertainment, focused on entertainment news, and developed a proprietary technology platform, the Social Distribution System, that was used to provide analytics for its own website as well as other online publishers. Wetpaint began as a wiki farm, hosting wikis using its own proprietary software, before moving into hosting of professional content in 2010. Wetpaint's wiki-hosting component was spun off completely in 2013 after being purchased by Wikifoundry.[1] Wikifoundry ceased operations in June 2021, decommissioning the original Wetpaint wiki-farm after 15 years[2]

Wetpaint was originally called Wikisphere, and begun as a wiki farm, hosting wikis using proprietary software. It was co-founded in October 2005 by Ben Elowitz, who had previously co-founded the online jewelry retailer Blue Nile Inc. In December 2005, the company and site were renamed to Wetpaint.[3] In October 2005, the company received its initial A round of venture capital funding of US$5.25 million from Trinity Ventures and Frazier Technology Ventures.[4] Wetpaint closed a US$9.5 million 'B' round of funding in January 2007, adding Accel Partners to the list of investors.[5] Wetpaint closed a Series C round of venture capital funding of US$25 million in May 2008. Investors included Accel Partners, Trinity Ventures, and Frazier Technology Ventures.

Wetpaint was named by Time Magazine as one of the 50 Best Websites of 2007.[6]

In July 2009, Wetpaint laid off 15 of their 56 employees.[8] An additional 9 employees, including co-founders Kevin Flaherty and Alex Berg, were laid off in December.[9] The company also decided to refocus the website on professionally created content. Both steps were taken as a result of declining online ad revenue.[9]

During late 2009, Wetpaint re-launched its main homepage, at wetpaint.com, as the Wetpaint Entertainment platform, a set of new online TV fan destination sites, geared toward the female 18-34 demographic.[10] The wiki farm was renamed "Wikis by Wetpaint", and was moved to the domain wetpaintcentral.com.

In December 2010, the company announced the Wetpaint Social Distribution System.[11]

In December 2012, Wetpaint was acquired by Viggle,[12] an entertainment rewards platform, which was shortly renamed to its former name, Function(X).

Updates to wetpaint.com stopped in 2018, leaving the site stagnant until it finally went defunct in mid-2020.