LONDON, Sept 4 Youth brand VICE Media has
secured $500 million investment from Silicon Valley's Technology
Crossover Ventures (TCV) and A+E Networks to help put content
like its recent documentary on Islamic State on more devices, it
said on Thursday.
The two partners, which each invested $250 million, join
investors including Rupert Murdoch and Martin Sorrell's
WPP in backing the brand whose counter-culture content
and news coverage has struck a chord with young people across
magazines, online video, television and movies.
The fundraising values the group founded in Montreal in 1994
at more than $2.5 billion, VICE Media said. The group operates
in 36 countries and says its content reaches more than 150
million people a month.
Founder and Chief Executive Shane Smith, who still reports
from war zones like Ukraine, said the investment would help
New-York-based VICE develop more content and put it on more
"High-quality content and innovative tech platforms will
drive VICE through this next period of growth on our relentless
quest for total media domination," he said.
VICE board member Tom Freston, who was previously chief
executive of MTV Networks and Viacom, said the capital injection
from A+E, a joint venture of Disney-ABC Television and
Hearst Corporation, and TCV would help VICE meet the demand for
its content across more platforms.
"After looking at a lot of partners, these were the best,"
he told Reuters. "A+E are very entrepreneurial and they are very
focused on the millennial generation."
TCV, which has invested in more than 200 technology
companies in the last 18 years including Facebook and Netflix,
would help VICE accelerate its distribution capabilities in
mobile, he added.
(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Susan Thomas)