Scripps Networks, WPP Invest $50 Million in Refinery29
The funding for the women's lifestyle site comes a few years after the ad giant put money into Vice Media.
Scripps Networks Interactive, the company behind such cable channels as HGTV and Food Network, and advertising giant WPP have invested $50 million in digital fashion and lifestyle media firm Refinery29, which targets female millennial audiences.
The companies said on Tuesday that the investments raised $50 million for the privately held firm's further growth. Refinery29's investors also include First Round Capital, Stripes Group, Floodgate, Lead Edge Capital and High Line Venture Partners.
The company, founded in 2005, employs more than 250 people and is based in New York with an office in Los Angeles. It draws 25 million monthly unique viewers, saying that makes it reach one out of every four millennial women in the U.S.
"We are focused on vastly expanding our media and entertainment brand, creating smart, provocative editorial, video and social content at the intersection of style, culture and independence," said Philippe von Borries, co-founder and co-CEO of Refinery29.
Scripps Networks chief development officer Joseph NeCastro and a WPP representative will join the company's board.
“Refinery29 is committed to building an influential brand that connects with millennial women across the world, and we’re excited about the prospect of working in partnership with the team as they continue to expand their coverage and reach," said NeCastro.
WPP CEO Martin Sorrell mentioned the investment at the Financial Times Digital Media 2015 conference in London on Tuesday, signaling the funding was in line with WPP's 2011 decision to buy a stake in Vice Media, led by CEO Shane Smith. "Shane has done a brilliant job at understanding the changes in millennials' … viewing habits," he said, explaining that deal. He added that the Refinery29 deal allows the company to work with a successful female millennial platform.