Fashion Media Company Refinery29 Acquires Digital Agency Socialbomb

Posted May 28, 2013

Refinery29 is a fashion media company that receives around 30 million unique visitors per year and one billion page views per day.  The company has acquired digital agency company Socialbomb.  Refinery29 was primarily interested in the talent behind Socialbomb so this deal can be considered an “acqui-hire.”  The terms of the deal was undisclosed.

In February 2013, Refinery29 raised $4.2 million in Series B funding from First Round Capital, Lerer Ventures, and Hearst.  Socialbomb also raised funding from First Round Capital.  BusinessInsider reported that Refinery29 is bringing in all of Socialbomb’s staff and executives including co-founders Scott Varland and Adam Simon, CTO Adam Parrish, and software engineers Gregory Shakar and Axel Esquite.

Founded in 2005, Refinery29 has an estimated valuation of around $100 million.  Socialbomb started three years later and raised around $240,000 from seed investors.

Refinery29 founders Justin Stefano and Philippe von Borries had met with Socialbomb co-founder Scott Varland in the past about working together.  Socialbomb is known for building high-end campaigns for brands like MTV and Red Bull.  However those talks did not move beyond a few meetings.

First Round Capital partner Chris Fralic was active in the development at Refinery29 and Socialbomb.  He was likely the catalyst for the deal that was announced today.  “It’s really exciting to see them partner up to help take Refinery29 to the next level,” said Fralic about the deal.