Hearst Ventures, the investment arm of media giant Hearst Corp., said it was making a minority equity investment in Science, the Los Angeles area tech “studio.”
Privately held Hearst is the sole investor in the new funding deal, although the company declined to reveal financial terms of the investment.
But sources with awareness of the deal said it was close to $30 million for a stake above 20 percent.
Somewhat akin to a startup accelerator, Science is attempting to quickly create and scale a number of promising companies in a variety of areas and has already launched 13 so far.
Among its recent efforts: Dollar Shave Club, a subscription-based products company aimed at men; Ellie, which sells high-end active wear for women; and Wittlebee, a clothes club for kids.
Hearst Ventures is operated by Hearst’s Entertainment & Syndication unit, which is run by Scott Sassa and George Kliavkoff. Kliavkoff will join Science’s board of directors.
“It’s clear to us that while we have these brands that resonate with consumers, we think there are some learnings we can get from these guys that are hard to get in a big company,” said Sassa. “Being able to be nimble with insight and guidance is important for us.”
Kliavkoff also noted that this was a way to get immediate ownership in a range of promising companies. “We are writing one check and have an immediate stake great startups,” he said. “They have been very thoughtful in starting companies in smart areas.”
In a statement, Hearst CEO Frank Bennack said: “Hearst is continually looking for smart investments that bring value and intelligence to the company — our investment in Science does both. We’re excited to partner with Science to continue its trajectory of success, gain meaningful industry knowledge and utilize Science’s platforms for current and future Hearst investments.”
Science was founded in late 2011 — with $10 million funding from big-name investors including Google Chairman Eric Schmidt’s Tomorrow Ventures, Rustic Canyon Partners, and White Star Capital. It CEO is well-regarded entrepreneur Mike Jones, who was most recently CEO of Myspace. Prior to Myspace, he had started and sold Userplane to AOL in 2006. In addition, well-known entrepreneur Peter Pham is chief business officer at Science.
Comments are disabled on this post