Mercer Island-based Fexy Media is building a portfolio of food websites and apps to appeal to millennials.
Fexy Media, a Mercer Island company launched by a wife-and-husband team who previously held top roles at Allrecipes and Cheezburger, has raised $6 million from investors, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Lisa and Cliff Sharples and investment adviser Ben Sternberg launched Fexy, first known as Teneology, in late 2014. The trio are setting out to create a digital media company with a portfolio of food-focused brands that appeal to millennials.
The latest funding round comes from Austin. Texas-based private equity firm Tritium Partners, which also invested in an earlier round with the company.
Fexy Media last week completed its sixth acquisition of a brand, Simply Recipes. The 13-year-old cooking blog, led by Elise Bauer, offers advice for millennials cooking from scratch at home.
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“We are very deliberate about our acquisition strategy as we build a complementary portfolio of food-focused brands,” Cliff Sharples, who serves as co-CEO of the company, said in a statement. “Simply Recipes is the cornerstone site from which we are going to expand the Fexy network’s recipe-content strategy.”
Cliff Sharples is a former HomeAway and Cheezburger executive, and Lisa Sharples served as president of Allrecipes.com for nearly six years.
Seattle-based Allrecipes is also targeting the food-loving millennial crowd. The company underwent a redesign last year to become more social media focused. Allrecipes was bought by publishing giant Meredith Corp. for $175 million in 2012.
Fexy Media now has 50 employees and operates three other websites and apps for cooks and diners: Roadfood, Serious Eats and Relish.
Nearly half of millennials refer to themselves as “foodies,” Cliff Sharples pointed out, and the couple wanted to reach out to the generation in a way millennials understand well — through the Internet.
“We really felt there was an opportunity to put together a portfolio of businesses that are natively digital that really speak to this generation,” he said.
Cliff and Lisa Sharples also co-founded Garden.com, which went public in 1999. It shut down when the dot-com bubble burst, and Walmart and W. Atlee Burpee bought the company’s assets in 2001.