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FINANCIAL REVIEW: Kin Community partners with Allure Media after $13.5 million funding round

Max Mason for The Australian Financial Review,

Fresh from taking part in a $13.5 million funding round for Kin Community, Allure Media is partnering with the California-based video publisher to bring the women’s community and content creator to Australia.

The latest round, a Series D funding, was led by Emil Capital Partners, Corus Entertainment, TEGNA, an investment firm backed by German retail giant Tengelmann Group and Allure Media.

In previous rounds Kin Community has been backed by venture capital firms Mayfield Fund, General Catalyst Partners, Rustic Canyon Partners and Atomico.

Founded in 2007, Kin Community Australia is planned for launch by Allure Media, which is whollyowned by Fairfax Media, publisher of The Australian Financial Review, in September.

Kin Community publishes short-form video, usually through social media, on home-focused content, such as food, family, wellness and DIY.

Allure and Kin are searching for and developing partnerships with local talent in preparation for launch. Ann Reardon, creator of How to Cook That, and Andy and Sonia, creators of AndymetSonia, are some of the local talent on board already.

The network already has 120 lifestyle content creators, 170 million social media followers and more than 600 million video views per month.

The latest round of funding will be used for expansion in Australia and the United Kingdom.

Kin Community co-founder and chief executive Michael Wayne said he had started talking with Allure Media around nine months ago before coming to an agreement to partner in Australia.

“The reality is from a business stand point, from an ad point of view, most of the ad dollars flow locally. They’ve invested a lot of infrastructure … they have a sales team already that have good relationships with brands and that’s a very hard thing to build,” Mr Wayne said.

“We love the fact that they’ve worked with a lot of diverse brands and publishers. They have a lot of experience working with international brands, but in video this is really going to be one of their first partnerships.”

Mr Wayne said the company was not considering further funding rounds or listing on a stock exchange at this time. Allure Media chief executive Jason Scott said the video category has seen exponential growth and it will only increase further on mobile.

“Historically there have been two pretty big road blocks … typically the cost of production … the distribution mechanisms have been locked up. We’re very focused on bringing this amazing opportunity to showcase local Australian creatives, of which the portfolio is building,” Mr Scott said.

“We’re pretty delighted to bring this to an advertising market with the great brands we run, offering them a different way of reaching audiences and telling their brand story.”