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All Def Digital, cofounded by Russell Simmons, raises $10 million in Series B funding

TechCrunch TechCrunch 29/06/2016 Connie Loizos

All Def Digital (ADD), a three-year-old, L.A.-based web video platform and media company that was cofounded by hip hop impresario Russell Simmons, has raised $10 million in Series B funding led by Third Wave Digital Partners.

Other investors in the round include WPP Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, and earlier investors Nu Horizons, Greycroft Partners, eVentures and Advancit Capital.

The company has now raised $18 million altogether.

ADD manages up-and-coming social video stars, writers, actors and hip hop artists. The company also produces and distributes its own original content through its own media properties, as well as TV, movies, social channels, live events and, increasingly, via brand partnerships.

Indeed, Simmons also recently launched an in-house creative agency called ADHD that intends to help advertisers appeal to the same audience that ADD is targeting —  which is younger people with shorter attention spans, as Simmons told AdWeek back in April.

As Simmons explained it at the time, “No one really understands this audience. It’s multiracial, but singularly cultural. It started out 95 percent black, and now it’s 45 percent non-black, and that’s going to keep growing . . . The audience we speak to is overlooked and underserved. A lot of the content Hollywood creates doesn’t serve this audience. We want to help brands frame their messaging in an honest way.”

In a statement issued by All Def earlier this morning, the company said its new funding will be used to build up its business “across all media – from digital series to live events, from Facebook to premium series and feature films.”

Variety notes that ADD’s cross-platform programming deals include a long-term collaboration with HBO that includes an “All Def Comedy Live” show slated to air this fall, and a distribution deal with Spotify for an original hip-hop reality series called “Rush Hour.”

If you’re interested in seeing some of the company’s latest videos, you can check them out here.


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