Refinery29, the 10-year-old media site that caters to the young female reader, has today announced the close of a $50 million Series D financing, led by Scripps Networks Interactive and WPP.
Co-founders and co-CEOs Justin Stefano and Philippe Von Borries said that Refinery29 exceeded its own expectations last year in terms of profitability, but knew that there were a few areas that could use more rapid and intensive investment for the media platform, including video content, global expansion and distribution via social media and mobile.
Refinery29 started out as a hyperlocal blog for fashion news back in 2010, but has since grown to become a multi-vertical media platform for women.
With the intent to invest heavily in video, Refinery29 will likely look into other distribution platforms, such as television, Facebook, Snapchat, and more for its own original video content, which will include comedy, documentary, editorial, and scripted works, according to Von Borries.
“We tell stories every day, and we built the business around rich, immersive storytelling,” said Stefano. “To do video right costs money. We’re making a big investment in infrastructure, video strategy, content creation, and we’re very excited about connecting with the consumer that way.”
Refinery29 recently hired ex-Vice Media Exec Amy Emmerich to run the video program. The Refinery29 co-founders confirmed that they have already been in talks with both television distribution channels (a path Vice has already taken with its HBO series), as well as other web-based distribution channels.
The Refinery29 series Style Out There is also slated for a second season.
The company will also invest the new funding into international expansion, with plans to open offices in the UK and Germany.
“It’s become clear that fashion is something that appeals to a global mindset,” said Von Borries. “You can see the exact same campaign launch in New York and Hong Kong on the same day. That’s the category we’re in, and Refinery29 truly needs to be a global brand that creates content for a global market, sourcing ideas and styles from local markets around the world.”
They said that global expansion goes hand-in-hand with expanding the mobile and social presence of the brand.
Refinery29 has raised a total of $80 million over the past 10 years, and now boasts more than 25 million monthly uniques with 250 employees across two offices.