Young entrepreneur's media business to expand in US and diversify with £3m Series A
Digital media firm Jungle Creations has closed a £3m investment round.
The London-headquartered company secured the Series A funding from creative-focused venture capital firm Edge Investments and former Burberry Group COO John Smith.
Jungle will use the seven-figure investment to grow its North American offices in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto.
The firm operates as a digital media owner, creating and commercialising online food, beauty and lifestyle brands, including VT and Twisted. Since launching, it has amassed more than 85 million social followers.
Jungle’s in-house creative production agency, Treehouse, has conceptualised and distributed social media video content for a number of international brands, among them Virgin, Heinz and McDonald’s.
The Series A funding will help Jungle focus its attention on longer form content, such as short documentaries and mini-series for TV.
It will also use the capital to diversify its offering. This will include the launch of a new ecommerce website, Lovimals.com, and the creation of restaurant concepts, pop-up bars and cookbooks.
Edge’s Josh Burge and David Fisher led on the investment, which will come from the Edge Creative Enterprise Fund and the Edge Performance VCT.
Jungle Creations announced a number of senior appointments to coincide with the backing, welcoming David Fisher to its board and hiring Charlotte Emmerson as CMO from The Guardian, Jonathan Kitchen as commercial director from social video company Brave Bison and James Evans as chief financial officer from media firm Time Out.
Founder Jamie Bolding said: “At a time when many media companies and brands have struggled to navigate the growing influence of the Google-Facebook duopoly, our deep understanding of social media, marketing and content creation has been instrumental in the company’s success.
“This has directly enabled us to branch out into new avenues, from ecommerce, to running events and launching our own influencer agency.”
He added: “It’s an exciting time of growth for the company and this funding from Edge reflects confidence in our ability to engage global audiences at scale.”
Investor John Smith commented: “Jamie has proven himself to be an incredibly inspiring and creative entrepreneur, and has built an exciting, ambitious and agile business, with an enviable audience.
“I’m delighted to be investing at such a pivotal time as the company looks to accelerate its international expansion with a number of promising and exciting ventures that will provide substantial revenue growth.”
Edge Investments CEO David Glick said: “Jungle Creations produces and distributes viral entertainment videos, generating billions of views from its millions of social media followers, and monetises these via sponsorship and advertising.
“It is led by a first-rate innovative management team and growing extremely quickly – exactly the kind of talent-led, creative business we like to back and work with at Edge Investments.”
Jungle Creations reported a revenue of £10m in FY 2017, but that figure is forecast to hit £17m in the current financial year and £100m in 2021.