Creative Video Company Jellysmack Secures $14 million in Series A Financing to Further Fuel Explosive Growth
Investment Round Led by Highland Europe Comes as Company Surpasses More Than 2.5 Billion Monthly Views on Video Programming across Social Platforms in Just Over Two Years
Formerly Known as Keli Network, Jellysmack’s Rebranding is Designed to Underscore Mission Of Building the World’s Most Engaged Communities Using Video Content
Former High Ranking Mashable, Red Bull and Tumblr Executives Join Senior Management Team to Accelerate Premium Content Production, Marketing and Diversify Revenue Streams
(New York, NY) September 26, 2018 — Jellysmack, one of the fastest growing video companies in today’s digital and social media landscapes, has secured a $14 million Series A financing round led by growth equity investor Highland Europe, with participation from Interplay Ventures and Seed Round Investors Partech and OneragTime. The investment comes as the newly-rebranded Jellysmack – formerly known as Keli Network – continues to solidify its position at a red hot, next generation media innovator and trailblazer. Its mix of data and creativity in creating and scaling video-centered communities that connect people to their passions has helped Jellysmack create hugely-popular franchises and shows which now attract more than 2.5 billion monthly views across Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.
Jellysmack – a name inspired by a community of jellyfish (otherwise known as a “smack”) – is designed to enhance brand recognition and underscore the company’s mission of building and engaging passionate communities, using video content. The company now has more than 170 million engaged monthly users — with over 70% in the core 18-24 demographic — and each of its five current verticals rank among the overall top viewed channels in their respective categories across social media. This includes its premier soccer content channel, Oh My Goal!; gaming channel Gamology; innovative tech and gadget centric channel Genius Club; beauty destination Beauty Studio; and Riddle Me This, a unique animated riddle show that was featured in a FB blog post as one of the “best practice shows” on the Facebook Watch platform.
Jellysmack’s explosive growth has been fueled by a combination of audience-first approach and proprietary technology. The company leverages the Agile Method and technology powered by machine learning at every step of the content-creation cycle to identify trends, optimize videos and scale distribution to leading social platforms. As a result, Jellysmack attracts and captivates massive audiences, building meaningful video-driven communities.
“With this new investment we will be able to expand our original premium and participatory content, along with the tools and technology that will allow us to better understand and deliver what our communities want.”— Michael Philippe, CEO
“Our success has been driven by our focus on engagement and interactions between fans within the same community, and our plan is to build on that secret sauce of data and creativity to launch new communities covering many more passions in the coming months.”— Michael Philippe, CEO
“The Jellysmack team is pioneering the way that high-quality video content is going to be created in the future, putting the audience and their passions right at the heart of what Jellysmack does” said Tony Zappala, partner at Highland Europe. “Users want to be engaged by the content they love, on the go and on their own terms. At Highland Europe we look forward to helping the team continue scaling rapidly, delighting more and more users worldwide.”
To accelerate its vision and growth, Jellysmack is greatly enhancing its senior executive team with notable new hires across content production, advertising and marketing. Eric Korsh, former President of Mashable Studios has come on as Head of Studios. Brent Spitzer, formerly Head of Commercial for Red Bull North America, will serve as Head of Sales; and Amanda Ferri who ran product marketing at Tumblr will head up marketing. Their background and success in the digital media landscape, coupled with founders Michael Philippe and Robin Sabban’s experience — which includes previously launching European digital newsstand LeKiosk which has attracted 2 million paying subscribers — gives the company a formidable leadership team with tremendous knowledge and insight into the trends driving the next generation of media.
In the coming weeks, Jellysmack will open a new state-of-the art Los Angeles studio and ramp up production on a slate of new channels and series. This will include a mix of premium episodic content, as well as series designed to reach underserved communities, such as a gender fluid beauty series targeting men. Additionally, as part of its diversified revenue strategy, Jellysmack is partnering with brands and other media companies to help power their social video strategies, leveraging its technology and expertise to help drive meaningful engagement and video views.