Joyus Accelerates Growth with New $24M Funding Round, Bolsters Leadership with Key Hires from ABC, GAP, NBC Universal and MGM

SAN JOSE, Calif., June 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Joyus today announced finance and management updates that reflect the company's accelerating growth. The world's first direct response online video network has raised $24 million in a new financing round, led by Marker LLC and Steamboat Ventures (a venture capital firm affiliated with The Walt Disney Company). Existing Joyus investors, including Accel Partners, InterWest and Time Warner Investments, also participated in this round.

Joyus will use the capital to invest in product, engineering and expanding distribution for its video network.

The company also announced key leadership additions in Content, Merchandising, Business Development and Operations including:

  • David Lazar, President & Chief Customer Officer
  • Kathy Samuels, Chief Content Officer
  • Jennifer Sharp, VP of Partnerships
  • Sandra Szahun, Head of Sales and Branded Content
  • Jonathan Hoeh, VP of Operations

“I couldn't be more proud of what Joyus has accomplished, and we've only just started," said Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Founder & CEO of Joyus. "The continued shift of users towards consuming online video across all devices and all genres of content is driving a large scale opportunity in lifestyle programming and monetization through commerce.  We have built a deeply engaging content and commerce experience for consumers, our partners are seeing off-the-chart ROI in our videos, and we're attracting world class talent and investors.”

In 2014, Joyus drove $0.99 in direct commerce revenue per view (RPV) – up to 20 times higher than comparable current pre-roll video CPMs. Approximately 35 percent of Joyus revenue comes from mobile. In addition, Joyus mobile app users consume disproportionately more video than equivalent desktop and mobile web users.

Joyus has received numerous awards, including the 2014 min Editorial & Design Award for its Online Video Program with People.com, and being named to OnMedia's Top 100 Private Companies (2014), Internet Retailer's Hot 100 Retailers (2013) and Brightcove's Innovation Award (2013).

“Investing in Joyus was a no-brainer for Steamboat," said Alex Hartigan, Partner at Steamboat Ventures. "As a global media company, Disney and Steamboat are always looking for the next generation of media innovation, and Joyus has created it with a powerful new programming and business model for online video. We are very happy to be part of the Joyus family.”

“It is not easy to monetize online video, but Joyus makes it look easy," said Rick Scanlon, Partner at Marker LLC. "The team at Joyus is built to take this model even further, and we are very excited about what the future holds for this company and anyone involved.”

About Joyus
Joyus is the web's first direct response video network, creating and distributing premium lifestyle content for women that is monetized directly through commerce. This content is published across the Joyus Network, which includes Joyus.com as well as partner sites, such as People, AOL, Real Simple, Hearst, Hollywood Life, Century Link, Verizon and others. More than 500 brands, including superga, Joe's Jeans, Verso Skincare, Jouer and Urban Remedy are showcased daily in video across beauty, fashion, health and lifestyle categories.

About Steamboat Ventures
With offices in Shanghai, Hong Kong, San Francisco and Los Angeles, Steamboat Ventures is a global venture capital fund that invests in digital media, consumer and technology companies in the U.S. and China. Founded in 2000,Steamboat Ventures has invested in a range of leading digital media and consumer technology companies including: GoPro, YY Inc., Edgecast Networks (acquired by Verizon), FreeWheel (acquired by Comcast), Pure Digital Technologies (acquired by CSCO), Quigo Technologies (acquired by AOL), 51 Fanli and Gridsum Technology. For more information, please visit www.steamboatvc.com.

About Marker LLC
Marker LLC (www.marker-llc.com)  is a New York City and Herzliya, Israel based venture growth firm. Its mission is to help promising companies develop into great companies and great companies into enduring market leaders. Currently with approximately $350 millionin assets under management, Marker LLC's mandate is to partner with dynamic management teams and invest in businesses with high growth and market leadership potential. Marker LLC's partners have decades of experience helping businesses and entrepreneurs around the world in a wide variety of sectors achieve remarkable success.

NEW JOYUS LEADERSHIP
BIOS

David Lazar, President & Chief Customer Officer
David M. Lazar is the President & Chief Customer Officer at Joyus. He is responsible for merchandising, customer service and fulfillment. A fashion industry veteran, he most recently served as CEO of Chaiken Clothing. While at Chaiken, Lazar also co-founded Threadsuite, a mobile sales tool for the fashion industry. Before that, Lazar was President & CEO of Three Dots, LLC, a fashion apparel brand. He has held several leadership roles at vertically integrated retailers, including Express. David holds a B.S. from Boston University.

Kathy Samuels, Chief Content Officer
Kathy Samuels is the new Chief Content Officer for Joyus. She comes to us after spending over two decades developing TV syndication content for some of television's top brands. Samuels served as Co-Executive Producer of "Katie" in 2012, has held important development leadership roles at NBC Universal, Paramount/CBS and Hasbro Studios, and was a member of the syndication team that launched "Access Hollywood".  She has independently developed shows of every genre for networks like BET, Scripps and DeBar-Mercury.

Jennifer Sharp, VP of Partnerships
Jennifer Sharp oversees strategic partnerships, distribution and ad sales for Joyus.  A veteran of the media and commerce industries, Jennifer has held senior BD, Strategy and GM positions at MGM Studios, Amazon, Walmart.com, Conduit and Netscape and was Co-Founder and CEO of HDgreetings. Most recently she was SVP New Platforms at MGM Studios where she led digital monetization and investments. Prior to that, she launched Textbooks at Amazon, drove digital media strategy and partnerships for Walmart.com, and led monetization at Conduit. She started her career as an Investment Banking Analyst and has an MBA from Stanford Business School.

Sandra Szahun, Head of Sales & Branded Content
A veteran in the media and brand partnerships world, Sandra Szahun was previously the VP of Integrated Marketing for Daytime and Syndication at ABC Television. Szahun has spent the last 15 years creating and selling meaningful partnerships to Fortune 500 brands on behalf of major Hollywood content players including Warner Bros., Discovery and NBCU. Szahun holds an MBA from Georgetown University and a B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Jonathan Hoeh, VP of Operations
Jonathan Hoeh is the Vice President of Operations at Joyus, where he oversees fulfillment, returns, customer service, vendor management, real estate and office operations. Prior to joining Joyus, Hoeh served as the Vice President of Inventory Management and Supply Chain Strategy for the Old Navy brand at GAP. He also served as VP of Planning for Dockers North America and for the Signature by LS&Co brand at Levi Strauss and Company. Prior to Levi's, Hoeh was a Strategy Consultant for Bain & Company. Hoeh holds an B.A. from the University of Wisconsin and an M.B.A from The Wharton School – University of Pennsylvania.