Female-focused digital media company Refinery29 has raised $45 million in a funding round led by Turner. The company said it will use the infusion of cash to expand production across a range of new formats and channels, accelerate global growth and drive development of products and services for advertising and platform partners “looking to inspire and impact women.”
The round also included participation from Scripps Networks Interactive, which led a $50 million funding round with WPP Ventures in April 2015.
The new round of funding will bring Refinery29’s valuation to $500 million, according to a report by Recode.
The investment will be accompanied by a new partnership between Turner and Refinery29 to develop content tied to key programming across the Turner networks designed to appeal to Refinery29’s core audience of millennial women. The companies will also collaborate on cross-platform ad sales partnerships, and Christina Miller, president and general manager of Turner’s Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang, will take a seat on Refinery29’s board of directors.
“In order to achieve success in today’s quickly evolving digital environment, we believe in partnering with brands that have distinct voices and loyal, engaged audiences,” said David Levy, president of Turner, in a statement. “Refinery29 certainly fits the bill, bringing with it a highly coveted following of millennial-minded women, strong capabilities in digital products, event marketing and content creation, as well as an attractive advertiser base.”’
Refinery29 is the latest in a string of digital media companies Turner has invested in over the last several months, following Mashable earlier this year and iStreamPlanet in 2015. It has also expanded the funding of its own digital properties, including millennial-targeting sports destiation Bleacher Report and CNN Digital, which produces short-form content for the Great Big Story digital channel.
Refinery29 boasts more than 27 million unique visitors on its website and a reach of over 225 million users across all other platforms. At its NewFronts presentation in April 2015, the company launched an ambitious programming initiative, dubbed R29 Originals, with a slate of 29 shows from producers and content partners including Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky, Wifey.tv co-founders Jill Soloway ( “Transparent”) and Rebecca Odes, New Form Digital, Planned Parenthood, Mae Whitman and Lena Dunham (“Girls”). In September 2015, it announced plans for a multi-stage European expansion, including the launch of dedicated regional platforms in the U.K., France and Germany.