Turner Leads $45M Round in Refinery29

Scripps Networks Interactive also joins latest funding, which aims to ‘supercharge’ multi-format video biz  
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Turner has led a $45 million round of funding for Refinery29, a digital media company focused on women.  

The round, which includes additional participation from legacy investor Scripps Networks Interactive, follows earlier investments from a group that also includes WPP​, Stripes Group​, ​Floodgate​, ​Lead Edge Capital​, ​First Round Capital, ​Lerer Ventures and Hearst Corporation.​

Turner did not disclose the amount of its equity investment, but did note that it and Refinery29 will collaborate on content creation and development tied to programming that appeals to Refinery29’s core audience of millennial women.  Additionally, they’ll work together on cross-platform ad sales partnerships. Christina, president and manager of Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang, will join Refinery29’s board.

Refinery29 said it will use the new influx of funds to “supercharge” its video production business across a variety of new formats and channels, and also to accelerate its international growth initiatives (it opened offices in Germany and the U.K. last year).  Of recent note, Refinery29 has launched thematic channels such as Brawlers (sports), Short Cuts (beauty) and RIOT (comedy), and its first first podcast and app.

Refinery29 said it hosts more than 27 million unique visitors on its website and touts a reach of more than 225 million users across all of its platforms.  It also claimed that video views have jumped 19 times across platforms since launching its R29 Originals unit in April 2015.

"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,"  David Levy, president of Turner, said in a statement."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.”

Turner’s investment is the latest in its efforts to shore up its digital-facing efforts, and follows a similar, recent investment in Mashable and its 2015 acquisition of iStreamPlanet.

Turner said it will soon launch additional network apps for several platforms, including Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and the Google Chromecast. 

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