Atlas Obscura raises $7.5 million, will move into video

TV's A+E Networks led the round.

Atlas Obscura closed on a major funding round.

(Photo via Instagram)

Media startup Atlas Obscura got a vote of confidence from an established company, with a Series A funding round led by A+E Networks announced yesterday.

The Greenpoint-based Atlas Obscura creates editorial content about weird and fascinating places around the globe. The company said it would be moving beyond articles and into video creation with the new money.

According to the Wall Street Journal, A+E Networks was joined by Business Insider founder Henry Blodget, Bleacher Report and Bustle founder Bryan Goldberg, New Atlantic Ventures, Kevin Ryan and Lauren Zalaznick in the round.

Atlas Obscura has an interesting business model for an editorial publication: less than half of its revenue comes from ads and it has no paid subscribers. Instead, it hosts events at interesting or weird places around the country, organizes trips to remote parts of the world and released a book last year.

When we talked to its CEO and former Slate editor-in-chief David Plotz earlier this year, he foreshadowed this funding news.

“I go out and try to raise money in Atlas and it is clear to me that media companies look at what we’re doing and think, ‘That’s interesting,’” Plotz said. “We’re tiny compared to almost everything you’ve heard of, but this idea of diversity of revenue streams and focus on community is something other media companies aspire to.”


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