Canela Media, the Spanish content platform, goes from strength to strength with new funding

Canela Media, a New York-based digital technology company, just announced it has raised $32 million in a Series A funding round.

This company, launched in 2019 with content aimed at Spanish-speaking communities, thus becomes one of the most funded Latin American companies, reaching more than 50 million unique Hispanic viewers through its more than 180 premium Spanish-language websites.

During the most recent investment round, where many large companies such as Ángeles Investors, Acrew Capital, Link Ventures, TEGNA Ventures, Samsung NEXT, BBG Ventures, Mighty Capital, Reinventure Capital, Portfolia’s Rising America Fund, Alumni Ventures, Powerhouse Capital and BMO, were involved, the Latin digital media company highlighted the completion of total funding to date of $35 million.

Isabel Rafferty, Founder and Executive Director of Canela Media, made her way in this competitive industry through her leadership in content production, specifically aimed at Spanish-speaking audiences. “As a Latina, I couldn’t find any content that was relevant to me. I realized there was a huge opportunity at hand, and I had to act fast. That’s what drove me to launch Canela. I knew there would be demand from both advertising and the consumer,” Rafferty said in an interview with Forbes magazine after the success of the funding round.

In 2020, already in the midst of the various sanitary measures decreed by the pandemic, CanelaTV, a free ad-supported streaming service aimed at Latin American audiences, was launched. You’ll find a wide variety of content including soap operas, news, movies, TV series, cooking shows, and more that celebrate Hispanic culture.

This streaming platform already brings in almost 10 million downloads, thanks to the broadcast that major brands such as Samsung, Xumo and LG have helped generate wide distribution. Likewise, the advertising calendar has consolidated with the arrival of big names like McDonald’s, Hyundai and Nissan, among others, customers who invest between $100,000 and $5 million in advertising every three months.

  • Canela Media is a completely free platform whose funding comes 100% from advertisements.
  • It has over 20,000 hours of premium content.
  • The average session of each user is 74 minutes per day.
  • According to Comscore, as of December 2021, the platform had over 50,000 unique visitors.

According to Rodrigo García, adviser to Ángeles Investors and member of the board of directors of Canela Media, the fact that its CEO is Latina is one of the main reasons for funding this digital content platform. Similarly, Rafferty’s accumulated experience in marketing, advertising and business development with Latino communities gives them the security of having invested in the right place.

Having attended more than 120 meetings with investors, Rafferty says it wasn’t until she was able to sit down with Latino women and venture capitalists that her company’s progression began to take place. “All of our investments came from female venture capitalists and people of color in our seed round. Every dollar,” she pointed out.

Rafferty’s intention is that CanelaTV will continue to operate as a free-to-air platform, so that its primary audience – Hispanic families, who in high percentages cannot pay for subscription streaming services – will continue to have access to content.

“I think there was a lot of pressure in the beginning when people didn’t understand why I wanted to create a free app. But I understood my audience and I understood that the free aspect was very important to them” , underlines Rafferty.

The money raised in the latest investment round will be used to expand further in Latin America and fund the development of new content, produce original programming for CanelaTV and its music streaming platform Canela Music, as well as its children’s segment Canela Kids.

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