Defy Media raises $70 million because YouTubers love Smosh, and investors love video

No joke! The guys behind the guys behind Smosh get serious money.

Remember last year, when digital media companies were raising giant funding rounds all the time?

Still going! Especially if you have a good story about video to tell.

Earlier this year, Refinery29 raised $45 million in a round led by Time Warner’s Turner networks. Now video publisher Defy Media, has raised $70 million, in a round led by Wellington Management.

Defy doesn’t get as much media attention as other digital startups, perhaps because people who write about media may not spend much time watching stuff like Smosh, Defy’s flagship YouTube property.

But Defy’s audience knows and likes this stuff. The company says it generates 800 million video views a month, and has 65 million YouTube subscribers. Now it is trying to branch out of YouTube into other digital video properties — and, like many other digital media companies, it has its eyes on traditional TV deals, as well.

Of note: One of Defy’s investors is Viacom, which got a chunk of the company by handing it some of its gaming sites in 2014. Also of note: Defy had been looking to raise this round for some time, and had also contemplated a sale at one point.

The Information previously reported that Defy had raised $30 million. Defy says a portion of the $70 million includes secondary sales, but says that the majority of the round will go the company itself.



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