BDMI Invests In Online Guide For Parents - Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA

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News | BertelsmannInvestments | New York, 08/09/2017

BDMI Invests In Online Guide For Parents

The generation of young people who will become parents in the next few years has grown up with the internet. So what could be more natural than using this familiar medium to learn about all the topics surrounding the next generation? With this in mind, the website Fatherly was founded two years ago to provide consultation and product recommendations for young parents – initially to fathers, but now also to mothers. To raise funds for augmenting its products and services, the online platform has now launched a new financing round led by Bertelsmann’s U.S. investment fund Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI). Other renowned partners are also participating, including Softtech Venture Capital, Crosslink, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, and The Raise. United Talent Agency will be joining as well, according to an announcement made by the New York-based company.

Fatherly's launch in 2015 was accompanied by a first round of financing, which raised a total of $2 million. Other investors included Gary Vaynerchuk through VaynerRSE and The Knight Foundation, as well as other institutions and strategic investors.

Expansion of the content business

Fatherly originally focused on young fathers looking for a reliable and trustworthy digital source for information and product recommendations. The website now reaches millions of millennial fathers and mothers, and has long been profitable with its 30 employees in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. According to the company, it cooperates with more than a hundred marketing partners, including Bacardi, General Motors, Johnson & Johnson and New York Life.

Fatherly intends to use the additional investment to enhance and augment its Webby Award-winning content business, including hiring new staff. It plans to expand its curated and video content, as well as broaden its stream and podcast offerings. In addition to the many celebrity, health, product and science stories and reports users have enjoyed to date, there will also be new editorial franchises, such as “The Fatherly Questionnaire” or the “Is My Kid Weird?” advice forum. A “Father of the Year Award” is also planned, which will be presented for the first time this fall at the New York BAM Harvey Theater, honoring men and women who have done exceptional work for children and communities.

A highly credible brand

“We seek out companies who can build a strong, differentiated brand in massive markets," said Sim Blaustein, Partner at BDMI. “As a dad, I can personally attest to Fatherly's ability not only to stand out amid a sea of traditional media and long-tail blogs, but to provide real value in my own decision-making."

According to Stephanie Palmeri, a Partner at SoftTech VC and one of Fatherly’s earliest investors: “Fatherly is at the forefront of a major cultural shift and provides a modern perspective for this next generation of parents. In a short amount of time, they’ve built a highly credible brand where thought leaders from Nobel Prize winners and leading academics to bestselling authors, world-class athletes, celebrities and CEOs regularly contribute insights and participate in conversations essential to today’s families.”

“As we build a brand that people genuinely love and companies love to do business with, having these additional strategic partners will help us accelerate growth in areas that matter both to readers and marketers,” said Mike Rothman, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Fatherly. “We’re already at an inflection point so the additional capital will allow us to move even faster as we bolster our core business, recruit amazing talent and expand the brand into new territory.”