At DMEXCO, Europe’s biggest digital marketing conference, Refinery29 announced today that it would be going global. The company plans to launch a U.K. platform in mid-November, which is Refinery29‘s biggest market outside of the U.S. Launches for France and Germany are planned to follow in early 2016, with additional markets to come.
Kate Ward has been appointed to lead the European expansion of Refinery29 as vice president of international. She joins Refinery29 from Endemol Shine Group, where she held roles as the associate director of global business development, vice president of Shine Network, and most recently, the head of commercial and strategy at Shine TV. “As a digital media leader, Refinery29 has not only disrupted the industry at large but serves and represents millennial-minded women around the world,” said Ward in a press statement. “I look forward to working with this dynamic team to implement a global strategy that further enhances how our audience engages and connects with our brand and each other from New York to London to Berlin and beyond.”
The company’s European headquarters will be located in East London with a team of 15 and an additional team in Berlin. “Expanding globally marks an important milestone for Refinery29,” said Philippe von Borries, co-founder and co-CEO of Refinery29 in a press statement. “We are deeply committed to our global mission of inspiring women from around the world with engaging content that challenges convention and helps impact cultural change across a broad rang of important topics. Right now there is a unique opportunity for digital first media companies, where international market share can be rapidly acquired by leveraging existing audiences and the vast spectrum of global distribution channels.”
Refinery29 launched in 2005 with just $5,000 put in (remember when it was essentially a shopping guide to the LES?) and has since grown into a media powerhouse. The site raised a hefty $50 million in new funding this year from Scripps Networks Interactive and WPP Ventures. According to the company, Refinery29 has reportedly had double digit growth for the last three consecutive years. The company has been building it’s presence in various areas beyond digital as well. This New York Fashion Week, Refinery29 launched “29 Rooms”, a three day event that brought its digital content to life at a warehouse installation in Brooklyn.