clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Time Warner’s Turner is the third big media company to invest in digital publisher Refinery29

Turner also invested in Mashable this year.

Refinery29 co-CEO Philippe von Borries
Amelia Krales for Recode
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Refinery29, the digital publisher that focuses on millennial women, has raised a new round of funding led by Time Warner’s Turner unit, according to people familiar with the transaction.

The new round comes more than a year after Refinery29 raised $50 million in a deal that valued the company around $300 million. Industry sources say the publisher was looking for something like $50 million and a $500 million valuation this time around. Prior to the newest round, the company had raised $80 million over a decade.

Refinery29 co-CEO Philippe von Borries confirmed that his company had raised money, but wouldn’t offer other details. A Time Warner rep declined to comment.

Turner, which also invested in digital publisher Mashable earlier this year, is the third big media company to invest in Refinery29. Hearst participated in a $5.6 million round the company raised in 2013; Scripps Networks Interactive led the $50 million round Refinery29 raised last year.

Earlier this year, von Borries said his company was on track to generate more than $100 million in revenue in 2016, all of it from advertising. The company says it reaches 25 million readers on its site, and another 125 million when you count its audience on other platforms like Facebook and Snapchat, where it runs a “Discover” channel.

In the past few years large funding rounds for digital publishers went from “very rare” to “quite common”; last summer the trend seemed to hit its apex when Comcast made two $200 million investments in BuzzFeed and Vox Media, which owns this site.

Since then, industry observers report that investors’ appetite for media companies has cooled. That’s in part because of worries that publishers haven’t figured out a dependable revenue model in a world dominated by platforms like Facebook.

Some publishers have had a hard time securing new rounds of financing. Mashable, for instance, spent months looking for a buyer or investor before Turner led a $15 million round; Mashable promptly fired some of its staff.

This article originally appeared on