Mashable, a digital publisher that touts an audience of 45 million monthly unique visitors, said it has secured a $15 million “C” round led by Turner that also bakes in partnership spanning video production, distribution and advertising.
Mashable said the round also includes returning investors Time Warner Investments, Updata Partners, David Jones, and Mike Lazerow, with participation from R&R Venture Partners. As a result of the round Kevin Reilly, chief creative officer for Turner Entertainment and president of TBS and TNT, will join Mashable’s board.
Mashable, which has now raised $46 million (Updata led a $14 million A round in 2014, and Time Warner Investments led a $17 million B round in 2015), said it will use the new round to expand its video offerings across platforms, including linear TV, enhance its technology and data platforms and bolster its premium advertising offerings, with a focus on building its branded video division (Mashable Studios was launched last June).
The partnership with Turner will include the development of new programming and franchises using Mashable Velocity (its prediction and tracking tool), distributing select Turner programming to Mashable’s digital audience and building cross-sales opportunities.
Turner, home to the top rated cable networks, is the perfect partner to bring the best of tech and digital culture to TV in fresh ways,” Pete Cashmore, CEO and founder of Mashable, said in a statement.
“Just as we are redefining these networks and continue to innovate beyond the traditional television universe, Mashable is redefining digital storytelling, making us ideal partners in today's rapidly evolving media ecosystem,” added Reilly. He told The Wall Street Journalthat the agreement is "truly strategic," as it will help Turner seek talent and pursue content genres that might not be found through the regular TV pilot process.
Mashable, which has 28 million social followers, said it’s branded content revenue grow 69% year-over-year, with client engagements growing by 58%.