Russell Simmons' All Def Digital Gets $5 Million
All Def Digital, the multiplatform network from co-founder Russell Simmons, has raised $5 million in funding.
The round was led by Greycroft Partners, one of the early investors in Maker Studios, with participation from Shari Redstone's Advancit Capital; Nu Horizons Investments, a fund established by Simmons and Kimora Lee Simmons-Leissner; and e.ventures. Greycroft's Mark Terbeek will join ADD's board as part of the deal.
The financing will go toward growing the company's cross-platform strategy, developing artist and talent initiatives, and accelerating its original programming and branded entertainment projects.
"Greycroft's vantage point and network of relationships across the media landscape will be tremendously valuable to us as we grow," said Simmons.
The Def Jam co-founder started ADD last year with AwesomenessTV CEO Brian Robbins, All Def Music CEO Steve Rifkind and longtime music executive Osman Eralp as co-founders. The company — first created as a YouTube multichannel network that would combine music, comedy, poetry, news and art — has expanded across multiple platforms, including ADD52, a website to spotlight emerging musicians.
"When it comes to nurturing and introducing global audiences to new art forms and new artists, Russell is a one-of-a-kind visionary," added Terbeek. "He is a prolific entrepreneur who has been very methodically building an outstanding platform and team at All Def Digital."
ADD in July announced the addition of Machinima executive Sanjay Sharma as president and chief operating officer. Terbeek, who previously sat on the board at Machinima, said he has "worked closely with Sanjay for five years" and has "seen the impact his strategic vision and operating experience had in creating the MCN model itself."