Recurrent's $300M Cash Infusion Shows Enduring Appeal Of Media Investments

Fast-growing digital publisher Recurrent Ventures announced on Wednesday that it has received $300 million in new capital led by the investment giant Blackstone, and that it intends to use the funding to continue to rapidly scale up its operation and build a platform for growth.

The investment is one of the largest infusions of capital into a privately held digital media company in several years, and stands as an indication that investors continue to believe in media brands with tightly focused markets and engaged audiences, even in the face of relentless competition from Facebook and Google.

The Wall Street Journal noted that investment in digital-media companies was robust in the middle part of the last decade, with Vice Media raising $450 million in 2017 and BuzzFeed attracting $400 million in two separate investments in 2015 and 2016.

But as expectations failed to meet actual results, the investment flow tapered off. (BuzzFeed, for example, generated an estimated $16 million in its IPO late last year.)



But the Recurrent investment might be a sign of renewed interest in media brands. At the very least, it reflects the enduring appeal of media businesses, perhaps for their brand recognition and perceived influence.

The company, founded in 2018 by the Miami-based private-equity firm North Equity, has now raised more than $400 million in total, including a $75 million investment last year.

Recurrent launched with the acquisition of The Drive from Meredith Corp., and has grown rapidly through acquisitions since then. Notably, it acquired Field & Stream and Outdoor Life, among other brands, from Bonnier Corporation in October 2020. It now has 24 digital media brands across the automotive, home, lifestyle, military, outdoor, science, and tech verticals.

Blackstone Tactical Opportunities Managing Director Melvin C. C. Ike added that the increasing demand for digital content has been a key investment theme at the company. “Recurrent has taken a differentiated, digital-first approach that focuses on investing in the growth of the brands it acquires, optimizing the underlying engagement with brand audiences, and equipping the new leadership teams with best-in-class people, technology, and processes,” he said. "We are pleased to back their further expansion.”

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