Turner is investing in digital... again.
The most recent target for Turner, a unit of Time Warner (TWC) , is Refinery29 --the online women's publisher that produces wellness, lifestyle and entertainment content popular among millennials. Turner, which also TNT, TBS, CNN and other cable networks, took an equity stake in the web site in exchange for $45 million, pocket change for Time Warner but an intresting investment nonetheless.
Refinery29, whose investors also include Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI) , Ken Lerer's Lerer Hippeau Ventures and the Hearst Corp., is valued at about $500 million last month, the tech website Recode said last month.
In a release both companies say they will "work together on content creation and development tied to key programming across the Turner networks that will appeal to Refinery29's core audience of millennial women," including digital video and TV programming.
Other investors in Refinery29 include advertising company WPP as well as venture capital firms Stripes Group, Floodgate, Lead Edge Capital and First Round Capital.
Turner is hardly new to online investing, having led a $15 million investment in Mashable in March. Established media companies are not straying away from news startups on the digital end: A&E and 21st Century Fox (FOXA) invest in millennial-oriented Vice Media, and Walt Disney Co. (DIS) is an investor in Ezra Klein's Vox Media.
However, this is the company's first introduction into the TV realm as more digital-first companies are making the shift. Vice did so in February when it began running it's 24-hour cable channel Viceland with A+E Networks.
Capital into established media companies appears to still be flowing, but new media startups are having a more difficult time. Venture capitalists are growing increasingly hesitent to fund media startups. Funding to media-tech companies by venture companies fell for the third straight quarter to $91.7 million, according to data from industry researcher CB Insights.
The company is teaming up on international growth and advertising, according to both companies.
"In order to achieve success in today's quickly evolving digital environment, we believe in partnering with brands that have distinct voices and loyal, engaged audiences," said David Levy, president of Turner, in a statement. "Refinery29 certainly fits the bill, bringing with it a highly coveted following of millennial-minded women, strong capabilities in digital products, event marketing and content creation, as well as an attractive advertiser base."
Christina Miller, president and general manager of Turner's Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang, will sit on Refinery29's board of directors.