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Vice receives $250m investment

Youth-skewing multimedia outfit Vice Media has received another cash injection of US$250m, this time from Silicon Valley-based investor Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV).

The investment means Vice, which began life as a music and lifestyle magazine and branched out into hard-hitting factual content, is currently valued at US$2.5bn.

US cablenet operator A+E Networks, which is jointly owned by the Walt Disney Company and media group Hearst Corporation, agreed to pay the same amount for a 10% stake in Vice Media last week.

Both A+E and TCV now hold minority stakes in the company, which remains independently controlled and operated by senior management.

Vice said it will use TCV’s money to “develop a world-class slate of digital products and distribution capabilities, giving audiences new ways to experience Vice content across all devices, screens, social networks, and digital platforms.”

Last week’s A+E’s investment will be used to develop multi-screen content across digital, mobile and linear screens in genres such as news, culture, sports, fashion, music and technology, according to Vice.

The partnership, which was negotiated between Nancy Dubuc, president and CEO of A+E Networks and Shane Smith, CEO and founder at Vice Media, is also likely to give Vice a cable outlet to distribute its programming and news to a wider audience.

The deals come weeks after Time Warner was reportedly set to invest in Vice with the idea of combining it with Time Warner’s HLN news network. 21st Century Fox took a 5% stake in Vice last year.

Vice currently operates in 36 countries and claims to reach more than 150 million people per month across all platforms, which include a suite of YouTube channels.

It also produces a self-titled news programme for HBO, which has recently been renewed for third and fourth seasons.

Topics covered include the Nigerian oil industry, political assassinations in the Philippines and basketball star Dennis Rodman travelling to North Korea.

“We believe that these new partnerships position us at the forefront of the coming convergence of media and technology, while preserving and protecting our independence,” Smith said.

“High-quality content and innovative tech platforms will drive Vice through this next period of growth on our relentless quest for total media domination.”


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