The company will open a Los Angeles-based studio as it uses the funding to ramp up content production
Jellysmack — the digital media company formerly known as Keli Network — is making big moves. In addition to a new name and a slate of new hires, the company announced that it has secured a $14 million series A financing round led by Highland Europe, with participation from Interplay Ventures and Seed Round Investors Partech and OneragTime.
The newly re-branded company will use the funding to “expand [its] original premium and participatory content,” according to CEO Michael Philippe. This will include the opening of a Los Angeles-based studio, which it will use to ramp up production on a slate of new channels and series designed to reach underserved communities, such as a gender fluid beauty series targeting men.
“Our success has been driven by our focus on engagement and interactions between fans within the same community, and our plan is to build on that secret sauce of data and creativity to launch new communities covering many more passions in the coming months,” Philippe added.
To help maintain and expand on its success, Jellysmack is strengthening its senior executive team with notable new hires across content production, advertising, and marketing. Eric Korsh, former President of Mashable Studios, has been brought on as Head of Studios. Brent Spitzer, formerly Head of Commercial for Red Bull North America, will serve as Head of Sales; and Amanda Ferri who ran product marketing at Tumblr will head up marketing.
“The Jellysmack team is pioneering the way that high-quality video content is going to be created in the future, putting the audience and their passions right at the heart of what Jellysmack does” said Tony Zappala, partner at Highland Europe. “Users want to be engaged by the content they love, on the go and on their own terms. At Highland Europe we look forward to helping the team continue scaling rapidly, delighting more and more users worldwide.”
Since its inception in 2016, when it was known as Keli Network, the digital media company has found success in producing short, snackable video content for social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Jellysmack has more than 170 million engaged monthly users — with over 70 percent in the core 18-24 demographic.
Currently, the company has five verticals that include its premier soccer content channel, Oh My Goal!; gaming channel Gamology; innovative tech and gadget-centric channel Genius Club; beauty destination Beauty Studio; and “Riddle Me This,” an animated riddle show that was featured in a FB blog post as one of the “best practice shows” on the Facebook Watch platform. Combined, the channels have more than 30 million followers.