Despite Disturbing Workplace Culture, Vice Has Raised $450M Ahead Of Potential IPO

Written by Staff

Vice Media has grown into what the NY Times describes as “an insurgent force in news and entertainment,” targeting millennials with edgy content on its own TV network and on HBO.

Yet as Vice grew, its workplace became known for something more old school — a degrading and uncomfortable environment for women, according to current and former employees.

Following a Dec. 23 New York Times report of sexual harassment allegations, Vice suspended its president Andrew Creighton and chief digital officer Mike Germano.

Creighton paid $135,000 to a former Vice employee after she alleged she was fired for rejecting his romantic overtures, according to the report.

That seems like peanuts compared to the $450 million in new funding Vice has secured from private-equity firm TPG.

From Tech Crunch. Story by Fitz Tepper.

Vice Media has raised $450 million in new funding from private-equity firm TPG, with a deal valuing the media company around $5.7 billion post-money.

Shane Smith, co-founder and CEO of Vice, was just on CNBC answering questions about the funding and Vice’s plans to eventually become a public company.

Vice IPO
Shane Smith, owner and CEO of Vice. Photo: Vice Media

 

While remaining cryptic, Smith did note that this raise is “what we would do if we were going to go public…start building our book, and bringing in revenue on a sort of hockey stick basis”.

Smith also emphasized how recent IPOs (especially from companies like Snap) have shown that you need a good revenue story to have a successful offering. He then acknowledged that Vice’s revenues “need to be better over years and years”, which this new funding will help them do.

Specifically, Vice plans to use the funding to launch Vice Studios, a way for the company to create scripted multi-screen programming to complement its library of news and documentaries. This new type of content will supplement the 13 digital channels Vice already offers to viewers – which include things like their TV network VICELAND and popular documentary series VICE on HBO.

Vice IPO?

Vice will also use the funding to build out OTT and possible subscription offerings, both things that will generate revenue by trying to monetize the relationship Vice has with its biggest fans. The company also plans to be delivering content in 80 countries by Q1 2018.

Smith explained that the company’s goal right now is to create the “largest millennial video library for content out there”, and once other companies realize they need this content they’ll have to go license it from Vice.

In a release, he explained:

“This will allow us to: build up the largest millennial video library in the world – enabling VICE to widen our offering to include; news, food, music, fashion, art, travel, gaming, lifestyle, scripted and feature films. Building out this wide-ranging and rich library of gold standard content will be an essential component of our future direct-to-consumer tech stacks and our innovations in transactional relationships – all of which represent the future of media.” – Vice co-founder and CEO Shane Smith

According to WSJ, Disney won’t participate in this new round, meaning its $400 million investment and 18-percent stake in Vice will be diluted with this new funding.

Read more at Tech Crunch.

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