Taiwanese Media House TNL Media Group Picks Up US$8M Series D

Led by U.S.-based Palm Drive Capital, the funding will drive TNL Media Group’s Asia expansion efforts

Taipei-based digital media house TNL Media Group has secured US$8 million in an ongoing Series D round of funding, according to a statement by one of its investors.

Led by New York-based venture capital and growth equity firm Palm Drive Capital, the funding will help the company scale its content, develop data and tech solutions, and drive its international expansion, the statement from Palm Drive Capital said.

TNL Media Group is expected to close its Series D in the next few weeks, noting that “late stage conversations [with investors] are still ongoing and some have already signed,” a TNL spokesperson told Jumpstart via email.

With the fresh funding, TNL will be focusing on Southeast Asian and Japanese markets in their plans for international expansion, the spokesperson said in the email.

The spokesperson noted that the company was “looking for opportunities to expand more substantially into Southeast Asia.”

TNL Media Group has also had “numerous very late stage conversations about partnerships to enter into the Japan market and bridge the large Japan market with the international Chinese language markets,” the spokesperson said.

The company will also soon start licensing its content management system to external clients, and plans to integrate its existing products and readership data into a data management platform and demand-side platform (a way for marketers to monitor adds and bid for ad spaces) by the end of the year, the spokesperson added.

TNL Media Group was launched in 2013 as The News Lens, a Millennial-focused digital news media platform for news from Southeast Asia and Greater China.

The Group currently has offices in Taipei and Hong Kong, and an adtech and data analytics business wing, in addition to Chinese and English editions that cover news from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, the statement said.

The spokesperson noted in the email that TNL Media Group has a host of product offerings across mobile ad tech, digital ticketing service, online events and online classes, and a data market research inhouse unit.

Joey Chung, Co-Founder and CEO at TNL Media Group, said in the statement that TNL Media Group aims to become “one of the largest international Chinese market content plus technology service and data analytics platforms.”

“We are eager to optimize [Palm Drive Capital’s] considerable contacts and experience in building our next stage growth in terms of readership scale, international expansion, and the maturing of our technology development capabilities,” Chung also said.

Earlier this year, the startup acquired Taiwan-based digital and mobile marketing company Ad2iction Interaction for an undisclosed amount. In 2018, the company also acquired Taiwanese companies Sports Vision, a sports news platform, and news site INSIDE Hard-Wire.

It had last raised $3 million in a Series C round of funding in June 2018. Some of its existing backers include U.S.-based media investor North Base Media, Taiwanese venture capital firm Wiskey Capital, and early-stage venture fund and accelerator 500 Startups.

Further, former Executive Editor of the Washington Post, and former Managing Editor of the Wall Street Journal Marcus Brauchli, who is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner at North Base Media, sits on TNL Media Group’s board.

“Palm Drive Capital focuses on investing in global technology startups using software to transform traditional industries,” Managing Partner at Palm Drive Capital, Nick Hsu said in the statement.

“This is evident in the media industry, particularly as Taiwan’s online ad expenditure has already reached over $1 billion and is estimated to grow to $1.65 billion by 2021,” he added.

Header image by jcomp on Freepik

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