Group Nine Media Takes $50M in Funding, Plans IP Investments
Video publisher Group Nine Media announced it has taken $50 million in new funding from Discovery, Inc., and Axel Springer. The publisher will use the funds to invest in intellectual property for its brands, and also to spur its newly launched commerce division. Brands under the Group Nine umbrella include NowThis, The Dodo, Thrillist, and Seeker.
Group Nine debuted in December 2016 following a $100 million investment from Discovery. Among its accomplishments, the company says, is that animal brand The Dodo is now the world's most engaged-with brand on mobile, NowThis is the U.S.'s most-viewed news brand on digital, and Seeker is the U.S.'s top science brand on mobile.
"Our commitment to executing on our original vision has been a real advantage that has allowed us to build best-in-class brands supported by a mature multi-brand infrastructure," says Ben Lerer, CEO of Group Nine. "This strong vote of confidence from our investors underscores the fact that we have the right model for a next generation diversified media company and we’re incredibly well-positioned to lean in—even while others are stepping back."
Besides creating original video, Group Nine's platforms create revenue through commerce, licensing, and merchandise, as well as in-person events such as "Hotel Thrillist" and The Dodo's "Best Dog Day Ever."
Group Nine announced it will acquire Popsugar, which will help it grow reach for advertisers and tap into a new, largely female audience.
The yearly schedule for the IAB's Digital Content NewFronts show which companies are succeeding with online video advertising and which companies want to make a statement.