Turner and Refinery29 announce strategic equity investment
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Turner and Refinery29 Announce Strategic Equity Investment
Refinery29 Raises $45 Million in Funding, Led by Turner,
To Fuel Development of Original Video Content and Acceleration of Global Growth
Investment in Refinery29 Marks Turner's Latest Strategic Move in the Digital Arena
NEW YORK, NY – Aug. 11, 2016 – Global media company Turner and Refinery29 today announced that Turner has agreed to make an equity investment in Refinery29, the digital media company focused on women.
As part of this latest round of investments, Refinery29 will use the funding to supercharge its already fast-growing video production business across a range of new formats and channels. The company will also be focused on continuing to accelerate its growth internationally and driving the development of new and innovative products and services for advertising and platform partners looking to inspire and impact women.
In parallel with the investment, Turner and Refinery29 will work together on content creation and development tied to key programming across the Turner networks that will appeal to Refinery29's core audience of millennial women. Additionally, the two companies will also collaborate on cross-platform ad sales partnerships. Christina Miller, president and general manager of Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang, will take a seat on Refinery29's board of directors.
"In order to achieve success in today's quickly evolving digital environment, we believe in partnering with brands that have distinct voices and loyal, engaged audiences," said David Levy, president of Turner. "Refinery29 certainly fits the bill, bringing with it a highly coveted following of millennial-minded women, strong capabilities in digital products, event marketing and content creation, as well as an attractive advertiser base. We're excited to enter into this agreement and look forward to working with the talented and creative team at Refinery29 to develop and expand opportunities around our commercial content partnership and other initiatives that will engage audiences and appeal to advertisers."
To date, Refinery29 has amassed a loyal following of more than 27 million unique visitors on its website and a reach of over 225 million users across all other platforms. Since launching R29 Originals in April 2015, video views have increased by 19 times across platforms. The company announced its international expansion plans in September 2015 and has since opened international offices in Germany and the UK. Along with the increase in growth and scale, the company continues to see category-leading engagement, with 37% of traffic coming from users who visit the site nine times or more per month and Refinery29 ranking #1 for minutes per user in the fashion/beauty/style vertical (source: comScore).
"It has been an incredible year of growth for Refinery29, expanding our mission to put women at the center of every conversation and lead a new powerful representation of women in media and advertising," said cofounders and co-CEO's Philippe von Borries and Justin Stefano. "We are thrilled to bring Turner on board as a key strategic partner: Turner's portfolio consists of many of the world's strongest media properties and is a true leader in global content creation. We are excited to collaborate with the Turner team to expand Refinery29 into new territories, expand and develop our leading voice in video content for women, as well as integrate into some of Turner's most exciting franchises and platforms."
Refinery29 Raises $45 Million, Led by Turner
In the latest round of funding, Refinery29 has raised $45 million, led by Turner, with additional participation from Scripps Networks Interactive.
Since the last round of funding in April 2015, Refinery29's reach has grown by +226% as the brand has expanded internationally via launch of Refinery29 UK and Germany (with offices in London and Berlin), the continued expansion of programming on new platforms and diversification into new formats and genres, including the launch of new thematic channels such as Brawlers (sports), Short Cuts (beauty) and RIOT (comedy), as well as the launch of the company's first podcast and app.
This round of funding follows previous investments from WPP, Scripps Networks Interactive,Stripes Group, Floodgate, Lead Edge Capital, First Round Capital, Lerer Ventures and Hearst Corporation.
Turner's Investment Marks the Global Media Company's Latest Strategic Move in the Digital Arena
Turner's investment in Refinery29 is the latest in a growing list of recent moves by the company in the digital sphere, following a similar investment earlier this year in Mashable, as well as acquiring a majority stake in iStreamPlanet in 2015. This year, the company has also directed additional investments toward its own digital properties, including major expansions for Bleacher Report, the leading destination for sports news with millennials, and CNN Digital, which produces short-form content for the Great Big Story digital channel.
Turner's portfolio-wide digital expansion also includes the launches of Super Deluxe, a new online video brand focused on eccentric, subversive comedy, and Courageous, CNN's branded content studio. In addition, Turner is working with the team behind TBS's CONAN on the Team Coco Digital Studio, which will develop branded content for digital and social media. The company also expanded the digital footprint of its networks through distribution deals with Sling TV and Sony Playstation Vue, and will soon launch additional network apps on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku and Google Chromecast.
Turner's focus on the digital arena aligns strategically with the company's efforts to draw younger audiences to its leading portfolio through multiplatform content, driven by such brands as Adult Swim, TBS, truTV, Bleacher Report and more.
Refinery29 is the leading digital media company focused on women with an audience of 27M+ monthly uniques on its website and global reach of 225M+ across platforms. Through a variety of lifestyle stories, original video programming, and social, shareable content across all platforms, Refinery29 provides its audience with the inspiration and tools to discover and pursue a more independent, stylish, and informed life. Please visit www.refinery29.com, www.refinery29.uk and www.refinery29.de for more information and to browse content.
Turner, a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, sports, animation and young adult multiplatform content for consumers around the world. Turner brands and businesses include CNN/U.S., HLN, CNN International and CNN.com, TBS, TNT, TCM, truTV, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Adult Swim, Turner Sports, Bleacher Report, iStreamPlanet and ELEAGUE.