Brut, the media distributed via social networks and aimed at young people sharing a progressive vision of society, raised 63 million euros from its existing shareholders but also from several prestigious investors. The French media with 20 billion videos seen in 2020 has just brought in Lupa Systems, the holding company of James Murdoch, Artémis, the holding of the Pinault family, Orange Ventures, the operator’s investment company historic telecoms, and the French asset management specialist Tikehau Capital. Launched in 2016, Brut would according to our information be valued at just under 250 million euros.
The founders Guillaume Lacroix, Renaud Le Van Kim and Laurent Lucas, former members of the Canal + universe, will remain the primary shareholders. Xavier Niel remains an important shareholder but makes room for these new entrants “whose profile validates the economic model”, explains Rodolphe Belmer, Chairman of the Board of Brut.
Until now, the company had raised around fifty million, notably from the Red River West funds of Artémis (already), Blisce (the Alexandre Mars fund) and historically from bpifrance, Cassius, Next World … In 2019, it was valued at 110 million euros.
The money raised is intended to accelerate the international development of historical media – the videos, generally short, which are exchanged on Facebook, Snapchat and YouTube -, in particular in the United States, in India and in Africa. But the ambition is also to accelerate the development of its new subscription video offer BrutX, which “is a hit and had reached a third of its objectives for the end of the first year in one month”, specifies Guillaume Lacroix, general manager. de Brut, which promises “back-to-school programs that will surprise more than one”.
Finally, Brut wants to set up a range of services helping brands, creators or media groups to reach 15-35 year olds around the world. “We master editorial strategies, data and monetization methods for this,” explains Guillaume Lacroix. The group wants to go so far as to help develop live e-commerce extensions of responsible products.
Brut believes that the term “brand content” is reductive as far as it is concerned because it puts its know-how at the service of well-defined values - the defense of the environment, gender equality, solidarity, etc. . – which he considers essential for brands that want to communicate with this generation – and in any case with the politically engaged audience of Brut. The group highlights the B Corp certification, which it has just obtained and which validates its values in terms of the environment and transparency.
Brut’s economic model is to bring together a community of young people with similar sensibilities and to find ways of monetization once the critical size has been reached. “The company has now entered a hyper-growth phase with an annual increase in its revenues of over 50%,” explains Rodolphe Belmer. If growth continues at a high rate, further fundraising may be necessary.
James Murdoch has extensive experience in international media, particularly in pay television (Sky in Europe, Star in India, etc.). Unlike his father Rupert, he is involved in the cause of the defense of the environment. Orange meanwhile has experience in video distribution and Africa. Tikehau Capital has the know-how of financing of all kinds. “These investors, in harmony with our values, make us sit down at the table of the great”, welcomes Guillaume Lacroix.