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Shaking up the digital media world

Shaking up the digital media world
February 2, 2021

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Digital media companies have been finding new ways to shake up old school print and TV journalism, but their efforts haven't been without challenges. The pandemic forced companies to cut down on advertising during the pandemic, and even digital media companies got hit hard. Nonetheless, many online media companies have bounced back as cord-cutting has accelerated digital ad spend. Add a lean operating structure, and digital media companies have a leg up in the ever-competitive, media industry, so much so that more and more are thinking about SPAC'ing. 

Source: Pexels

  • The Juggernaut is a paid subscription publication that focuses on South Asia and South Asians. Founded by Snigdha Sur originally as a free newsletter, the demand for news, focused on the South Asian diaspora, which was lacking in mainstream news organizations, gave birth to the current paid subscription media company, The Juggernaut. In October 2020, the company raised its seed funding of $2MM, led by Precursor Ventures. 
  • The Morning Brew is a daily subscription newsletter media company. It mainly targets millennial business professionals with its quick and easy-to-read format. Its success has propelled The Insider, parent company to Business Insider and eMarketer, to acquire a majority stake in the company, which values it at $75MM. 
  • theSkimm is a women-founded and women-targeted daily newsletter media company. Its daily breakdown of the most important news list of the day has won the hearts of many readers. The company has raised multiple rounds of funding in the past, with its last round C funding helping the media company spin off into podcasts and other news formats. However, the pandemic has pushed theSkimm to trim staff, with no recent news on whether the company has turned things around. 
  • Vice Media originated as a traditional magazine media company, but it has expanded and transitioned into many forms of media, targeting a millennial audience. Like many of its media counterparts, it had to downsize during the pandemic. In addition, its subsidiary, Refinery29, has faced criticism due to allegations of toxic workplace behavior in 2020. The company is rumored to be considering a SPAC. 
  • Group Nine is a mix of four digital media brands: Thrillist, The Dodo, Now This, and Seeker. Focusing on the web as its media distribution medium (digital-first), the company is a go-to for millennial audiences. The company just announced its own SPAC in January and will be using it to acquire some of its competitors.
  • Bustle Digital Group is the media holding company for a number of brands, from W to Nylon. It targets the Millenial and Gen Z audiences. The company’s CEO has been touting exiting via SPAC since late last year, and he just may be close to finding the right SPAC partner.
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Since last week, PrivCo has added:
773 Companies | 236 Funding Activities | 158 M&A Deals

Funding & Deal Highlights:

Robinhood raises $3.4BN
Brokerage Software & Internet Services • Equity • Menlo Park, CA 

Albert Corporation raises $100MM led by General Atlantic
Fintech Software & Internet Services • Round C • Culver City, CA 

Drivenets raises $208MM 
Cloud Software & Internet Services • Round B • Red Banks, NJ 

Sturish raises $3.2MM 
E-Commerce Software & Internet Services • Seed • Menlo Park, CA

Literati raises $40MM led by Felicis Ventures
Publishing Specialty Retail • Round B • Austin, TX

Finesse US raises $4.51MM
Apparel Retail • Seed • Los Angeles, CA

Oncue Enterprises raises $10MM led by Rethink Impact
Information Technology Software & Internet Services • Round A • Oakland, CA

Playvox raises $25MM led by Five Elms Capital
SaaS Software & Internet Services • Round B • Sunnyvale, CA

Vessel Health raises $14.5MM led by Monogram Capital Partners 
Home Health Software & Internet Services • Seed • San Diego, CA

Splashtop raises $50MM led by Sapphire Ventures
Identity Management Software & Internet Services • Equity • San Jose, CA

Starship Technologies raises $17MM 
Commercial Products & Office Supplies • Equity • Redwood City, CA

Ukko raises $40MM led by Leaps by Bayer
Food & Beverage Producers • Equity • Mountain View, CA

Faraday and Future merges with Property Solutions Acquisition Corp for $3.4BN
Vehicle Manufacturers • SPAC • Gardena, CA 

Ensysce Biosciences merges with Leisure Acquisition Corp
Pharmaceuticals • SPAC • La Jolla, CA

Fertitta Entertainment merges with FAST Acquisition Corp
Entertainment • SPAC • Las Vegas, NV

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