Vice Media Gets $250 Million Investment From Venture Capital Firm

Vice Media Shane Smith - P 2014
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Vice Media Shane Smith - P 2014

CEO Shane Smith wants to continue a "relentless quest for total media domination"

Vice Media has raised $250 million from Silicon Valley venture capital firm Technology Crossover Ventures, adding to a capital injection of the same size from A+E Networks that it also confirmed on Thursday.

The youth-focused media company, led by CEO Shane Smith, said it was valued at more than $2.5 billion in the deals. TCV and A+E are each taking a 10 percent stake.

The company has grown internationally and digitally and is expected to use the cash injections for further expansion.

The deals come after talks between Time Warner and Vice ended over disagreements about the firm's valuation. The new deals mean Vice's valuation has nearly doubled since Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox acquired a 5 percent stake last year for $70 million.

"We believe that these new partnerships position us at the forefront of the coming convergence of media and technology, while preserving and protecting our independence," said Smith in a statement. "High-quality content and innovative tech platforms will drive Vice through this next period of growth on our relentless quest for total media domination."

"Vice Media is an incredibly well positioned next-generation media company," said Jay Hoag, founding general partner at TCV. "Through a focus on high-quality content, delivered across an array of online and mobile channels, the studio has expanded rapidly worldwide. We believe Vice has a great future, and we’re excited to support the company as it enters this next stage of growth.”

Vice said the deals allow it to remain independent, while securing strategic partners for its growth plans.

The partnership with A+E will allow the youth brand to develop "thousands of hours of multi-platform programming for audiences worldwide, dramatically increasing its content offerings for every screen, including digital, linear and mobile," it said. It vowed to develop "dozens of new formats focused on news, culture, sports, fashion, music and technology programming for audiences worldwide."

Said Nancy Dubuc, president and CEO of A+E Networks: “As a global media company, A+E Networks continually seeks to create new and exciting content that will attract audiences today, tomorrow and beyond. By investing in Vice, we are thrilled about our potential to further deliver content that meets the demands of the latest consumption trends."

The TCV investment will be used to “develop a world-class slate of digital products and distribution capabilities, giving audiences new ways to experience Vice content across all devices, screens, social networks and digital platforms,” Vice said.

Twitter: @georgszalai