One of the most interesting bits of WPP is WPP Ventures, its Silicon Valley operation that invests in media, tech and content businesses.
Its latest investment is a share of $50m of funding going into Refinery29, a US lifestyle content business targeting ‘millenial’ women. Refinery29 claims to reach one in four such females (in the US presumably) with 25m unique viewers per month.
WPP is partnering with Scripps Networks Interactive, which is a pretty interesting company too. Named after Edward Scripps who founded the Penny Post in Cleveland in 1876, it now owns a number of lifestyle properties in the US including DIY Network, Food Channel and Travel Channel.
WPP Ventures president Tom Bedecarre says: “Refinery29 operates at the intersection of content, commerce and social media – all areas of focus for WPP Ventures. We’re delighted to make this investment alongside Scripps.”
Refinery29 was founded in 2005. Advertisers include Procter & Gamble, Revlon, Neiman Marcus and Luxottica. The company employs over 250 people and is based in New York with an office in Los Angeles.
WPP Ventures’ other investments China Media Capital, Fullscreen, Indigenous Media, Imagina (a content rights and media company based in Spain), Media Rights Capital and VICE.