Refinery29 Fetches $50 Million Investment from WPP and Scripps
Refinery29 has raised another $50 million from investors, the company announced today. The series D funding comes from WPP's investment arm, WPP Ventures, and Scripps Networks Interactive.
The 10-year-old fashion and style site -- which has seen enormous audience growth in the last year -- has now raised $80 million from investors. Its last investment round came in October 2013, when it got $20 million.
People familiar with the company now value it at roughly $300 million.
From a financing perspective, the new round brings Refinery29 in line with other big players in the new-media world, such as BuzzFeed, which has raised $96 million, and Vox Media, which has fetched $110 million from investors.
Refinery29, which says it is profitable, generated between $55 and $60 million in revenue last year almost entirely from advertising and much of it in the form of so-called native advertising, where the ads look like editorial content.
The site attracted 15.8 million unique visitors across desktop and mobile devices in March, a 136% increase over the previous year, according to ComScore. (ComScore also rolls up HelloGiggles.com and Greatist.com into Refinery29's overall traffic number. Including those sites, Refinery29 attracted 26.8 million uniques in March, a 138% year-over-year increase.)
"Over the next five years, multi-billion dollar media brands will grow out of the digital core, from which Refinery29 was born and is the leader," Philippe von Borries, co-founder and co-CEO of Refinery29, said in a statement.
Here's what the site -- which has grown from a fashion-centric destination to one that now aims to provide news coverage -- plans to spend the money on:
The company will expand internationally by launching new markets and building communities abroad, develop its distinguished video and entertainment offerings, and further connect its content and technology platform to the mobile and social web.
Scripps Networks Interactive's Chief Development Officer Joseph NeCastro will join Refinery29's board of directors, along with a representative from WPP Ventures.
"Refinery29 operates at the intersection of content, shopping and social media—all areas of focus for WPP Ventures," Tom Bedecarre, president of WPP Ventures, said in a statement.
WPP Ventures is also an investor in Vice.