CULVER CITY, Calif., June 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- ALL DEF DIGITAL, INC. (ADD) announced today it has raised $10 million in a Series B financing led by Third Wave Digital Partners. Other investors in the round include WPP through WPP Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz, as well as all of ADD's existing investors: Nu Horizons, Greycroft Partners, eVentures and Advancit Capital. The announcement was jointly made by ADD Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Sharma and co-founder and Chairman Russell Simmons.
The fastest growing media brand in urban youth programming, touching over 100 million fans monthly across YouTube and Facebook, ADD's growth is also punctuated by industry-leading engagement and video retention metrics.
All Def Digital is the leading media company for urban-centric youth culture. ADD produces and distributes original content through its own media properties, social channels, premium television, theatrical motion pictures, live events, and multi-faceted brand partnerships through its newly established in-house creative agency, ADHD. ADD also operates a curated network of emerging and established talent including social video stars, stand-up comics, writers, actors, poets and hip hop recording artists.
"For the next phase of growth, we chose investors who understand what we are building at All Def across all media - from digital series to live events, from Facebook to premium series and feature films," said Russell Simmons, co-founder of ADD. "We chose partners who understand the value of our consumer brand, our talent relationships and fans, and the white space we're filling"
"Our partners – the most important and influential firms in media, marketing and technology – share our vision that cultural and demographic shifts, coupled with the massive disruption of the traditional media industry by online video, social and mobile, create a singular opportunity for us to create a new class of data oriented media business," said Sanjay Sharma, ADD's CEO. "Hip hop is a global cultural movement touching all aspects of life, from music to art to fashion, to language itself, and at the very heart of youth culture. Millennials and Gen Z are the most demographically diverse cohorts in history, incredibly influential and equally hard to reach through traditional media."
The financing will accelerate the Company's rapidly scaling cross-platform audience growth and distribution efforts, its original programming in comedy, music, sports, news and poetry, as well as branded entertainment and multi-dimensional sponsorships. The company's brand marketing efforts have been growing quickly through its ADHD agency division, now partnering with consumer electronics brands, car makers, beverages, major motion picture studios and more.
ADD is producing a number of new cross-platform programming franchises that span digital, social video, live events and television. The company has expanded its long-term collaboration with HBO to include a first-look deal with the premium cable channel. ADD is currently in pre-production on All Def Comedy Live for HBO, which will introduce audiences to a new generation of comedic talent and scheduled to air this Fall. It recently announced its expansion into music programming through a launch partnership with Spotify, part of the premium music service's entry into original video programming. ADD also has closed a partnership with Seeso, NBCU's direct-to-consumer over the top subscription app for comedic programming, as well as a partnership with Fusion TV, Univision's cable and digital network focused on diverse millennials, for the All Def Movie Awards. The company recently announced its latest franchise, the All Def Comedy Roast, the first of which will be produced later this year and feature Snoop Dogg as the inaugural guest of honor. The company's early expansion into social justice programming includes its first Town Hall series, hosted by Melissa Harris Perry and Nick Cannon, which was released exclusively through Facebook Live.
Investors in the company include some of the most important names in digital media, technology, brand marketing, and entertainment today. Third Wave Digital Partners' Allen DeBevoise founded the VC firm after more than 30 years' experience building and investing in digital media companies. He has invested in over 70 startups including AwesomenessTV, Tastemade, StyleHaul, MiTu, Vessel, WeVr, Jukin Media and Tubular Labs, to name a few.
"With hugely impressive growth, retention and engagement metrics, All Def Digital is quickly scaling and poised to become the most important and influential brand for urban youth culture in America, and around the world – that's the reach of hip hop" said DeBevoise. "We are tremendously excited to be partnering with Russell, Sanjay and the entire All Def SquADD, and look forward to helping build this unique brand which speaks so authentically and convincingly to Millennials and Generation Z."
ABOUT THIRD WAVE
Third Wave Digital was founded by Allen DeBevoise in 2014 to provide start-up capital to exceptional early-stage media and technology entrepreneurs addressing explosive opportunities in digital media distribution, programming and technology. Based in Los Angeles, Third Wave Digital is committed to helping the best and most ambitious third wave technologies and programming brands develop and grow into tomorrow's major media companies.
WPP is the world's largest communications services group with billings of US$73 billion and revenues of US$19 billion. Through its operating companies, the Group provides a comprehensive range of advertising and marketing services including advertising & media investment management; data investment management; public relations & public affairs; branding & identity; healthcare communications; direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing and specialist communications. The company employs 194,000 people (including associates and investments) in over 3,000 offices across 112 countries. For more information, visit www.wpp.com.
WPP was named Holding Company of the Year at the 2016 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for the sixth year running. WPP was also named, for the fifth consecutive year, the World's Most Effective Holding Company in the 2016 Effie Effectiveness Index, which recognizes the effectiveness of marketing communications. In 2016 WPP was recognised by Warc 100 as the World's Top Holding Company (second year running).
ABOUT ANDREESSEN HOROWITZ
Andreessen Horowitz backs bold entrepreneurs who move fast, think big, and are committed to building the next major franchises in technology. Founded by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, the firm provides entrepreneurs with access to expertise and insights in innovation, executive and technical talent, market intelligence, policy and regulatory affairs, business development, and marketing and brand-building. Find us in Menlo Park, Calif., and at www.a16z.com.
ABOUT NU HORIZONS
Nu Horizons is a new media and lifestyle investment company jointly established between Russell Simmons and Kimora Lee Simmons-Leissner's venture fund KLS Holdings. KLS Holdings is focused on early stage companies in digital and consumer markets globally whose investments include a new fashion company launching fall 2014, Codage, Paris, a leading global Premier skin care business, and various sports related investments.
ABOUT GREYCROFT PARTNERS
Greycroft Partners is a leading venture capital firm focused on investments in the Internet and mobile markets. With offices in the two media capitals of the world - New York and Los Angeles – Greycroft is uniquely positioned to serve entrepreneurs who have chosen us as their partners. Greycroft leverages an extensive network of media and technology industry connections to help entrepreneurs gain visibility, build strategic relationships, successfully bring their products to market, and build successful businesses. Greycroft manages $600 million and has made over 100 investments since inception, including leading companies such as AppAnnie, Buddy Media, Huffington Post, JW Player, Klout, Maker Studios, Managed by Q, Nativo, Thrive Market, TheRealReal, Trunk Club and more. For more information please visit the Greycroft Partners website at www.greycroftpartners.com.
Advancit Capital was co-founded by Shari Redstone and Jason Ostheimer. Redstone is Vice Chair of the Boards of Viacom, Inc. and CBS, Inc. and President of National Amusements, Inc. Ostheimer was previously at the Blackstone Group. Advancit has made more than 70 investments, with a focus on early-stage companies at the intersection of media, entertainment, marketing and technology. Advancit provides not only capital, but access to a unique, deep network of industry relationships and strategic support to help accelerate its portfolio companies. Investments have been focused primarily in New York as well as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Boston. For more information please visit Advancit at www.advancitcapital.com.
Founded in 1998 and built on a strong, shared culture of entrepreneurship, e.ventures is a venture capital firm with global scale. The firm invests out of dedicated funds in five geographies, namely BV e.ventures (U.S.), e.ventures Europe, e.ventures Russia, Infinity e.ventures (China and Japan) and Redpoint e.ventures (Brazil and Latin America). The e.ventures team has been investing in Internet companies for more than 15 years and operates as one team by combining a global investment strategy and philosophy with local presence and insights. Focused exclusively at the intersection of consumer Internet, media and mobile, e.ventures aims to help entrepreneurs build transformative companies. www.eventures.vc
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