Group Nine Media has raised $40 million in a new round of funding to help expand video content across its brands and to finance future acquisitions.
The new round of funding comes from Discovery Communications, Axel Springer SE and Lerer Hippeau. It will allow Group Nine to build on its existing content, as well as create new shows and series.
CEO of Group Nine Media, Ben Lerer, stated the company was founded “with the strongly held belief that the media industry was at the beginning of a massive and definitive shift to digital video and the next generation of great brands would be built on top of the leading social platforms.”
Group Nine Media was formed last October by bringing together Thrillist Media Group, NowThis Media, The Dodo and Discovery’s digital network Seeker. Discovery Communications made a minority investment of $100 million in the new company at the time.
Axel Springer is Group Nine Media’s second-largest shareholder.
Lerer added that “scale would rule and be imperative for success and that quality content and original IP would be key to building out a truly successful digital footprint." He said the partners' support would allow the company to "lean in and grow faster and smarter.”
Group Nine claims it has over 5 billion monthly views and 2.5 billion minutes of video consumed monthly. The company also says its brands reach more than 80% of young Americans in their 20s each month.
David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications, stated that Group Nine is “completely on track."
Group Nine has introduced a number of video series this fall, as well as acquired comedy collective Jashearlier this month to expand its episodic video programming and advertising opportunities.
In August, its brand NowThis partnered with Thrive Global, the health and wellness startup created by Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, to create a video series for millennial women on work-life balance, called “Live Better.”And in October, Seekervand Discovery Communication’s Science Channel announced they were teaming up on a content partnership to produce video for social media and television, ranging from a digital series for Facebook, weekly interstitials to air on Science Channel, and a partnership on a long-form, linear TV series currently in development, all co-branded as “Seeker + Sci.”