×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Thrillist Raises $54 Million, Splits Off E-Commerce Unit

Thrillist Media Group, a digital media and e-commerce company targeting men, has raised $54 million in funding and will split apart its content and commerce divisions.

Axel Springer, the Germany-based digital publishing conglomerate, is taking a minority stake in TMG’s media unit, which will continue to be known as Thrillist Media Group. Separately, Oak Investment Partners and SBNY (formerly known as Softbank Capital NY) are leading the investment into JackThreads, the men’s fashion e-commerce site TMG acquired in 2010.

The deal continues the trend of big media companies seeking growth — and hard-to-reach younger auds — through acquisitions or investments in digital players. Hearst invested $21 million in Complex, another New York digital-media company targeting millennial males with pop-culture content, while NBCUniversal recently pumped $200 million apiece into BuzzFeed and Vox Media.

Ben Lerer will serve as CEO of Thrillist Media Group and Ken Lerer, managing partner of Lerer Hippeau Ventures, will join TMG’s board of directors. Eric Ashman and Adam Rich will continue as president and editor-in-chief, respectively. Mark Walker will become CEO of JackThreads.

New York-based Thrillist Media Group, founded in 2005, reaches 15 million monthly unique visitors to Thrillist.com, and over 80 million per month across digital, social and mobile platforms. The company has more than 175 employees, with local editions in 35 cities in the U.S. and Europe. Thrillist also produces over 75 live events yearly.

TMG said Axel Springer’s investment will help it expand into new, targeted content verticals, broaden its video and social resources and grow other areas of its business.

For Axel Springer, the stake in Thrillist is part of its push into the U.S. market. The company on Tuesday announced a deal to acquire news and events company Business Insider for about $343 million.

“This investment in Thrillist Media Group is an important part of our strategy to support innovative digital media and compelling content around the world as well as our company’s expansion to the U.S. and other English-language markets,” Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner said in announcing the investment.

Citigroup served as financial adviser to Thrillist Media Group on the funding.

More Digital

  • Amazon Prime

    Amazon Prime India Greenlights ‘Bandits’ Music Series

    Amazon Prime Video India has greenlit original series “Bandish Bandits.” The show is a musical created by Still and Still Media Collective. The series will follow an Indian classical musician bound by tradition and a pop star whose performance skills are greater than her talent. A bandish is a term used to describe a musical [...]

  • Alibaba Buys 8% Stake in Chinese

    Alibaba Buys 8% Stake in Chinese Video Platform Bilibili

    Alibaba has purchased an 8% stake in the Chinese online video platform Bilibili, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Bilibili is one of China’s top video streaming and entertainment platforms, with about 92 million monthly active users and 450 million page-views per day. Founded in 2009, it was listed on the NASDAQ last March. Alibaba’s [...]

  • Clevver-Logo

    Hearst Magazines Buys Clevver's Pop-Culture YouTube Channels After Defy's Demise

    Hearst Magazines has snapped up Clevver, a network of female-skewing lifestyle and pop-culture news YouTube channels that had been owned by now-defunct Defy Media. Clevver was left homeless after Defy’s sudden shutdown in November; its principals said at the time they were looking for a new home. Hearst Magazines sees a digital fit with Clevver’s [...]

  • "Brother" -- Episode 201-- Pictured (l-r):

    CBS Interactive's Marc DeBevoise on Streaming Boom, Content Strategy, and Apple

    Not everyone wants or needs to be Netflix to succeed in the streaming space. And not everyone sees Apple’s enigmatic new service as a threat. Even as rival streaming services offer gobs of content, CBS Interactive’s president and COO Marc DeBevoise sees the company’s targeted original programming strategy continuing to attract viewers to its All [...]

  • Rhett-Link-Good-Mythical-Morning

    Rhett & Link's Mythical Entertainment in Talks to Acquire Smosh (EXCLUSIVE)

    Smosh, the YouTube comedy brand left stranded after parent company Defy Media went belly-up, may be about to get a new business partner. Mythical Entertainment, the entertainment company founded by top YouTube comedy duo Rhett & Link, has been in talks about acquiring the Smosh brand, sources told Variety. Multiple potential buyers came forward to [...]

  • Pokemon Go

    Proposed 'Pokémon Go' Lawsuit Settlement May Remove Poké Stops, Gyms

    A proposed settlement in the class action lawsuit against “Pokémon Go” developer Niantic could remove or change a number of Poké Stops and Gyms in the popular augmented reality game. The proposed settlement was filed in a California court on Thursday and applies to anyone in the U.S. who owns or leases property within 100 meters [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content