Vice Media has finalized two investment deals worth a combined $500 million for the growing, Brooklyn-based media company. Technology Crossover Ventures, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, and A&E, which owns a number of popular television networks, have invested $250 million each, the New York Times said Thursday.
The deals value Vice, the news outlet that started as a free weekly in Montreal before moving to the Web, YouTube and then becoming an HBO show, at more than $2.5 billion. The company has made a name for itself among hipsters and young men especially by sending reporters to far-flung and fraught corners of the globe and covering stories from an on-the-ground perspective. Vice recently made headlines and earned positive reviews for a documentary chronicling the Islamic State.
A&E Networks is owned by Hearst Corp. and The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS) and includes cable networks including A&E, History and Lifetime. The deals were first predicted by Re/Code and follow Fox's purchase of a 5 percent stake in Vice last year for $70 million.
Vice executives, led by founder and CEO Shane Smith, have maintained that the large transactions won’t impede Vice’s editorial freedom. Neither the A&E nor the Technology Crossover Ventures deal includes mention of a possible Vice-only TV network, as previously speculated, but Vice is “evaluating” whether such an idea would be feasible, according to the Times.
Attached below is a short Vice report on underground bare-knuckle boxing in the United Kingdom, a characteristic topic for the quickly developing news outlet.