By Evan DeSimone
Digital lifestyle publisher Refinery29 has rolled out plans for a multi-stage European expansion, including the launch of dedicated regional platforms to engage international markets in the U.K., France and Germany.
Phase one of the Refinery29’s global expansion is slated to launch in November with the debut of the site’s dedicated U.K. platform. Expansions targeted to the French and German markets are planned for the first half of 2016. A fifteen-member team based in East London will lead the company’s European expansion, along with a second international team based in Berlin. The company plans to add additional international voices to its roster to further amplify and localize its female-focused millennial brand.
The endeavor will be led by Kate Ward, Refinery29’s newly-appointed VP of international. Ward is a veteran of the Endemol Shine Group, where she served as associate director of global business development and a VP at Shine Network. Prior to joining Refinery29, she served as head of commercial and strategy at Shine TV.
International expansion has been in the cards at Refinery29 for some time now. Earlier this year, the company took in $50 million from Scripps Interactive Network and WPP Ventures, which was earmarked for expanding the company’s multi-platform lifestyle media brand globally.
Founded in 2005 by Justin Stefano and Philippe von Borries as a fashion-focused guide to New York City, Refinery29 has evolved into a multi-vertical media outlet with a focus on fashion and lifestyle content. The company currently boasts offices in New York and Los Angeles.
The addition of three new international outposts is the latest milestone in a year of substantial growth for Refinery 29. Earlier this year, the company hosted its first NewFrons presentation, introducing 29 original series as part of a ramped-up focus on video content. Just last month, the company introduced its influencer network, “The Here and Now Collective,” which surfaces emerging voices on social platforms and harnesses their influence through Refinery29’s multiple platforms.