Italian startup Freeda Media has raised a $16 million Series B round. Existing investor Alven is leading the round, with Endeavor Catalyst, UniCredit and others also participating. UniCredit is also granting the company a debt facility of $3 million.
The company has managed to attract millions of followers on Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms. It runs short videos, quick interviews and articles. In other words, Freeda wants to create a social version of Elle, Teen Vogue, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan or Man Repeller.
Freeda is currently live in Italy, Spain and South America. The company currently has 5 million women engaging with their content every day. It reaches 80% of Italian and Spanish women aged 18-34 every month.
On Instagram in particular, the startup says that it is the first female media brand in the world with 100 million interactions in 2019 alone:
With today’s founding round, the goal is clearly on international expansion. The startup is opening an office in London and plans to launch in the U.K. and other English-speaking markets. There are currently 160 people working for Freeda.
The company is still mostly focused on branded content to monetize its audience. But Freeda wants to expand beyond this revenue stream with a new direct-to-consumer brand. You can expect to be able to buy Freeda-branded products starting in 2020.