Blavity raises $6.5 million Series A round led by GV
Blavity, the digital lifestyle media company geared toward black millennials, recently closed a $6.5 million Series A round led by GV with participation from Comcast Ventures, Plexo Capital and Baron Davis Enterprises. As part of the investment, GV Partner John Lyman is joining Blavity’s board of directors.
As the media landscape continues to change, with some businesses up for sale, a prominent black media publication moving under new leadership and other ones shuttering, Blavity is at a point where it’s thinking about what phase two looks like, Blavity CEO Morgan DeBaun told TechCrunch over the phone.
“There’s just a lot going on where it’s important now more than ever that Blavity is committed and has the resources it needs to grow as a publication,” DeBaun told me.
Most of the funding will go toward opening a new office that is strictly focused on engineering and data, DeBaun said. As part of that, Blavity intends to triple the size of its engineering team. The office, which will likely be in Atlanta, will be home to engineers on additional products and content creation tools to facilitate better storytelling.
“A lot of innovation will come out of that office in the next six to nine months,” she said.
Currently, Blavity employs 30 people full-time and has between 60-80 contractors across its five brands. Since launching in 2014, Blavity has acquired Travel Noire, a travel startup for black millennials and media platform Shadow and Act to expand its focus from news to lifestyle.
Founded by DeBaun, Aaron Samuels, Jonathan Jackson and Jeff Nelson, Blavity ultimately aims to be a digital voice for black millennials. Prior to this Series A, Blavity raised a little over $1.8 million from MACRO, New Media Ventures, Base Ventures, Cross Culture Ventures, Harlem Capital Partners, the Knight Enterprise Fund and others.