New Latino media startup launches with historic $80M raise
Latina activists and entrepreneurs Jess Morales Rocketto and Stephanie Valencia have raised $80 million to launch a brand new Hispanic media firm referred to as the Latino Media Community.
Why it issues: It is one of many largest capital raises for a Latina-owned and operated startup within the U.S.
- “It is fairly audacious for folks like us to be doing one thing this massive,” Morales Rocketto stated in an interview. “Steph and I’ve been elevating cash for a very long time, however that is orders of magnitude larger than what we have ever finished.”
Driving the information: With the capital, the duo has acquired 18 Hispanic radio stations throughout 10 markets from TelevisaUnivision.
- The deal, valued at $60 million, is likely one of the largest single acquisitions of radio stations by a Latino-owned and operated firm.
- “These 10 markets are a few of the most dense markets within the nation,” Valencia stated, referring to markets like Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Houston, Chicago, Dallas, San Antonio, McAllen, Fresno and Las Vegas. “They principally give us entry to one-third of the Hispanic inhabitants on this nation.”
- Many of the acquired stations are primarily Spanish-language and some are bilingual. Among the AM stations are speak radio, whereas others are sports activities broadcasting associates of main professional sports activities groups. Many of the FM stations are music-focused for now.
- “This choice follows a proper course of, wherein TelevisaUnivision met with dozens of potential patrons,” TelevisaUnivision stated in an announcement.
The startup has recruited dozens of high-profile Hispanic celebrities, entrepreneurs, media figures and traders to hitch its trigger.
- The board will embody Morales Rocketto and Valencia, in addition to radio entrepreneur and investor, Tom Castro and social justice activist Henry R. Muñoz III. Castro has purchased and bought over 50 radio stations serving the Latino group and serves on the boards of Nielsen and Cumulus Media.
- Lakestar Finance, an funding entity affiliated with the Soros Fund Administration, is main the funding, and different people, together with Hollywood actress and entrepreneur Eva Longoria, are additionally investing.
- Award-winning Univision anchor Maria Elena Salinas and Al Cardenas, former chair of the Florida Republican Occasion and American Conservative Union will function advisers.
Catch up fast: Valencia previously served as a particular assistant to former President Obama and the White Home’s principal deputy director of public engagement.
- Morales Rocketto has labored at numerous nonprofits and is an alumna of Hillary for America, the AFL-CIO, Obama for America and the Democratic Nationwide Committee.
- Requested about whether or not the corporate would have a political bent, Morales Rocketto stated, “It is not about politics. We’re critical about serving the group, and about free speech and free expression.”
- “After all Stephanie and I are who we’re, we aren’t and do not need to cover that, however this isn’t political.”
Between the traces: Latino Media Community stated it can deal with media content material creation and distribution throughout all mediums, with a particular deal with audio to start out.
- The corporate is planning to broaden past radio into podcasts and content material on YouTube and different digital platforms. It should take a bilingual strategy, producing and distributing content material in Spanish and English throughout numerous platforms, like audio streaming and social, in addition to its personal channels.
- “We’re occupied with increasing the digital footprint throughout all of those stations,” Morales Rocketto stated. “YouTube is a serious entry level for Latinos,” she famous.
By the numbers: Radio has the very best weekly attain amongst Hispanic adults within the U.S. at 96%, in comparison with 92% of the entire inhabitants, per Nielsen. Radio engagement amongst Hispanics ticked up dramatically through the pandemic.
- Podcast listening time amongst U.S. Hispanics jumped 44% in 2021, per Edison Analysis. Multiple-third of U.S. Latino adults take heed to podcasts month-to-month.
The way it works: From a enterprise perspective, the corporate says it can generate income from promoting towards the radio content material and sooner or later, syndicating content material to different stations.
- Whereas the radio advert market has recovered from COVID, Valencia stated there shall be extra enterprise alternatives for the corporate because it expands digitally into multi-platform audio throughout YouTube podcasting and different locations.
- From a content material perspective, Latino Media Community stated it can construct programming round authoritative information personalities and subject material consultants to assist the Latino group navigate difficult subjects, like well being care, finance and small enterprise. Whereas a lot of that content material shall be supported by promoting, some packages could be funded by philanthropy, Valencia stated.
The massive image: The Latino Media Community increase and TelevisaUnivision deal characterize the most recent main second of momentum for Hispanic media.
- Two weeks in the past, Candle Media, the Blackstone-backed media holding agency led by Disney veterans Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs acquired Exile Content material Studio, one of many fastest-growing Hispanic content material firms on the earth.
- Final month, a startup backed by personal fairness bought a few of the most influential Spanish-language newspapers within the U.S.
- Latinos are driving the expansion in inhabitants within the U.S., however the group has lengthy been handled as a monolith. Latino Media Community stated it can deal with creating content material that addresses the totally different cultural and political nuances that influence various kinds of Latinos.
Backside line: “So usually our tales have been erased or invisible. In some methods, you wouldn’t know that Latinos would be the principal a part of the U.S. inhabitants in our lifetime,” Valencia stated. “Us with the ability to deliver a way of belonging, affect and energy to this group is extremely vital.”
What’s subsequent: The corporate is hiring an government crew, together with a CEO, to start out recruiting expertise and managing the TelevisaUnivision-owned belongings.
- The transaction is anticipated to shut by late 2022, following regulatory approval within the US.
Editor’s be aware: This story has been up to date with extra remark from Morales Rocketto concerning the firm’s politics.