Freeda Media, an Italian millennial-focused media organization, announced that it raised a $10 million Series A today.
The round was led by Alven, a Paris-based venture capital firm that funds media and information technology companies. Other participants included U-start and “a group of international business angels,” according to the company. This is the second round of funding for Freeda Media. The company previously raised $4.3 million in Seed capital in September 2016.
Founded in 2016 by Gianluigi Casole and Andrea Scotti Calderini, Freeda Media is an organization that releases digital media on Facebook and Instagram. It began publishing in February 2017, and tailors its multimedia content to its audience of primarily millennial women. The company is based in Milan and Spain, and currently has a team of 80 employees.
According to the company, Freeda Media was started with the intent to better represent millennial women in the media.
“We saw a huge opportunity to build a media brand able to represent them in an authentic and relevant way. It was fundamental to start a media company that [is] able to… promote their core values.” Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Gianluigi Casole told Crunchbase News in an email.
The company creates videos, images, and posts that they believe showcase the achievements of women, celebrate diversity with personal style, and connect women in a positive way.
Branding Is Everything
That’s great, but what’s Freeda Media’s business model? The founders told Crunchbase News that they rely on branded content, partnering with brands that they believe represent their views as a company.
“We believe that it is the most effective way for brands to communicate and establish a relationship with millennial and pivotal generations. We see ourselves as the ideal partner to connect with them and we build content strategy cross platforms with premium brands,” said Casole. He added that in the future the company plans to expand its business model to include production for streaming platforms, as well as “B2C activities and commerce.”
The media company currently relies on pushing videos and other posts through third-party platforms like Facebook, which is increasingly limiting the distribution of video on its platform. However, the company says that the changes to the Facebook algorithm have, so far, not affected its traffic outcomes.
“In January we saw only a moderate decrease in our people reached metric,” Casole said. “We are able to adapt our strategy fast and to take advantage of the algorithm changes.”
Even so, Casole said that it the company is not planning to rely solely on Facebook and Instagram in the long term, and that the door is open for it to introduce its own platform. However, as of now, that is not the company’s immediate goal. The $10 million in funding will be used to expand its current 20 person team in Spain, market in italy, launch a Youtube channel and “continue bringing in talents to reinforce [its] salesforce.”
Free Media raised this round amid a shift away from video in the media community from players like Vox, Mic, and Cracked, which all cut staff after their expensive pivots to video. Nevertheless, the startup has intrigued investors and is hoping their millennial women-focused content will continue to attract a loyal viewership.
Illustration Credit: Li Anne Dias
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