The digital lifestyle company Ozy Media has reportedly raised $35 million in financing and plans to use some of that new pool of money to fund a further expansion into podcasting. Variety reports iHeartMedia is among the investors in the company, which announced a multiyear partnership with iHeart in June.
“We are really proud that top-tier investors want to join us,” Ozy co-founder Carlos Watson told Variety. In addition to iHeartMedia, the third round of funding comes from Interlock Partners, LionTree, Atinum Investment, and Tom Franco, Don Gogel and Roberto Quarta, all of whom are partners in the private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. To date Ozy media has raised more than $70 million in financing. Earlier Silicon Valley investors include Laurene Powell Jobs, Ron Conway, David Drummond, Larry Sonsini and Dan Rosensweig with a significant investment from publishing giant Axel Springer.
Under an alliance announced earlier this year, content from OZY News, OZY Magazine, OZY TV and OZY Events – which cover politics, culture, technology and sports – will be featured on iHeartMedia morning shows across 150 U.S. markets. The alliance also includes promotion across iHeart’s radio, digital, social and live events assets.
OZY and iHeartMedia will co-produce iHeartRadio original podcasts and develop shared revenue opportunities for advertisers. The iHeartRadio Podcast Network already features OZY Media’s hit podcast series The Thread. It takes listeners through nearly a century of American stories. Watson told Variety he sees podcasts as a big opportunity to reach millennial audiences “where they live.”