October 22, 2020
The Dodo, the animal-centric video brand of Group Nine Media, has built an audience of more than 90 million followers across social media platforms. Now it is getting into pet insurance, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Group Nine—itself, backed by Discovery—has taken a minority stake in Petplan, a pet insurer headquartered in New York that was acquired by private-equity firm Warburg Pincus last year. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Group Nine’s chief executive, Ben Lerer, will join Petplan’s board of directors.
The acquisition is the latest effort by Group Nine, which was valued at about $1 billion last year, to create new revenue streams at a time when many digital media companies, big and small, are trying to diversify beyond advertising, the Journal notes.
“For digital media, I think we all have the challenge of needing to be good at multiple things at once,” said Lerer. “My belief is that the best way to reinforce multiple business lines is to build great brands, because a great brand can be leveraged in a bunch of different ways.”
In buying into Petplan, Group Nine and The Dodo won’t be starting from scratch, he said. Petplan has more than 250,000 paying subscribers, the companies said. People familiar with the business said that number includes around 50,000 net new members since May 2019.
Research contact: @WSJ