Tastemade has raised $25 million to become the YouTube for foodies


Los Angeles-based online video startup Tastemade wants to become the digital Food Network, and it just got another major cash injection to make that happen: Tastemade raised a $25 million Series C from Scripps Networks Interactive and Liberty Media, with existing investors Redpoint Ventures, Raine Ventures and Comcast Ventures also chipping in, bringing the total amount raised to date to $40 million. And to reach the other half of the mobile world, Tastemade is also launching its app on Android. The launch of the Android app, which will exclusively available on Samsung phones for the first three months, comes after Tastemade debuted an iPhone app a little less than a year ago. The company’s mobile apps allow food bloggers and other foodies to record brief restaurant video reviews that are spiced up with thematic background music and a basic script that turns rants and raves into professional-looking clips.

Food Network owner Scripps Networks Interactive is buying a piece of Tastemade — a YouTubemultichannel network building a stable of food-centric programming for online audiences. Tastemade announced $25 million in series C funding, led by Scripps Networks Interactive with participation by John Malone’s Liberty Media, bringing the startup’s total funding to about $40 million. The latest round also included existing investors Redpoint Ventures, Raine Ventures and Comcast Ventures. “We have some great financial investors, and we thought it was a good time to bring in strategics,” said Tastemade co-founder Larry Fitzgibbon, who oversees the MCN’s operations. The new funding will let the company “accelerate our vision to create a global community of food lovers” revolving around video. The investments by Scripps and Liberty Media in two-year-old Tastemade continue the trend oftraditional media firms investing in or acquiring digital-video startups, specifically in the YouTube MCN space. The biggest move on this front was Disney’s recent purchase of Maker Studios in a deal worth up to $950 million. Scripps is “absolutely a leader in the food space,” with a big digital presence already, Fitzgibbon said. Tastemade plans to work with the programmer to collaborate in different areas, like cross-platform promotion, ad campaigns and content, with details yet to be determined.

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