Maker Media has secured $5 million in funding, a move that follows the beta launch of the MakerSpace digital community and continued growth in Maker Faire as the company’s platform expands to serve the worldwide maker movement.
Along with the funding, Maker Media has hired Rafe Needleman as editor in chief to lead its editorial team and content strategy. Most recently, he was editorial director of Yahoo Tech.
Maker Media is a platform centered on content, community and commerce. Maker Media content includes online publication Makezine.com, Make: magazine and Make books. Maker Media’s community consists of Maker Faire, the MakerSpace social platform and Maker Camp. The company’s commerce unit, Maker Shed, offers electronics, kits and tools for makers.
The investment in Maker Media comes from a syndicate of investors including Twitter founder Evan Williams’ Obvious Ventures, media and entertainment investor Raine Ventures, Azure Capital, and previous investors OATV and Floodgate, and debt funding from Square 1.
The strategic investment marks the next step in Maker Media’s evolution to build its Maker Faire business and platform serving the maker movement. Maker Media will use the funding to continue to invest in the people, technology and infrastructure required to reach a broader global audience with its digital platform and popular Maker Faire events. The funding will also be used toward building Maker Media’s technical and editorial teams driving video, mobile, and online initiatives.
To further expand its media and content business, veteran technology journalist Rafe Needleman joins Maker Media as editor in chief. Needleman brings more than two decades of industry experience to Maker Media’s editorial operations. Prior to his stint as editorial director of Yahoo Tech, he held leadership roles at CNET, Red Herring, Byte, and Infoworld.
Maker Media has seen explosive growth in Maker Faire and remains a bright spot in media. In 2014, there were more than 130 Maker Faire events and 781,000 attendees worldwide, a figure expected to reach more than 1 million attendees in 2015. Make: magazine’s growing worldwide print distribution reaches 300,000 and its online properties — including Makezine.com, Maker Faire online, Maker Shed and Maker Camp — reach nearly 4 million monthly unique visitors.
“Maker Media is on a mission to inspire and develop more makers, and we are excited to continue to invest in people and technology to do even more on a global scale,” says Maker Media CEO Gregg Brockway. “We’re at an inflection point for the broader maker movement. The investment speaks to the growth and promise of Maker Media as a platform offering makers around the world content, commerce and community opportunities.”
“Maker Media is a uniquely diversified media company. It has a great collection of interlocking media properties, events, and products, all in support of a growing and powerful community of makers,” says Rafe Needleman. “I’m excited to join the company to expand the scope of coverage even further at a time when the DIY movement and the intersection of technology are taking off around the world.”