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The startup has a newsletter with seven million subscribers, but it wants more revenue sources.
TheSkimm started out as a newsletter aimed at millennial women, but its founders have always said they wanted to expand into other product lines.
Now co-founders Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg have more money to make that happen: They have raised a $ 12 million round led by Google Ventures, along with Spanx founder Sara Blakely. Earlier investors, including 21st Century Fox, RRE and Homebrew, are in this round as well. The company has raised $ 28 million since 2012.
Investors the company talked to said Zakin and Weisberg were looking for a $ 100 million valuation; their last round, in September 2016, valued the company at around $ 55 million. The company declined to comment on its current valuation or whether it had sold secondary shares as part of this round.
TheSkimm’s core product is a daily newsletter that boils down world events into breezy, bite-sized chunks — today’s edition, on the U.K. expelling Russian nationals following the assassination of a former spy: “The Kremlin’s prob not stressing about all this.” The company says it now has seven million readers who open the letter at least once a month, with a 30 percent daily open rate.
But theSkimm has always positioned itself as a media brand with aspirations for multiple revenue streams. It has been building some of them in the last few years and now boasts podcasts, an e-commerce business and a subscription calendar app.
The company says it will use some of the money from its new round to build more subscription services — a very 2018 idea in mediaworld — and that it hopes Google Ventures and its Google connections can help it with some of its product plans.
Or, in the words of the company: “We have revolutionized the delivery of news and information to the most coveted demographic and, as we look to grow our membership by expanding our products and services, GV’s expertise and data-driven mindset makes them the ideal partner to aid in our expansion.”
Weisberg and Zakin appeared at Code Media last month, along with Brit + Co CEO Brit Morin, where they talked about building their brands and businesses. Here’s the video from that session:
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