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Isabel Rafferty, CEO de Canela Media.
It is also a company run by women. Photo: Canela Media and Briz Media Group.

Canela Media, the Spanish content platform, gets boost with new funding

The digital media firm is based in New York and targets Spanish-speaking Latino communities.

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

The firm, launched in 2019 with content aimed at the Spanish-speaking communities, is now one of the most funded Latino-owned companies, reaching more than 50 million unique Hispanic viewers through its more than 180 premium websites in Spanish.

In its most recent investment round, where many major firms 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 a total financing to date of $35 million.

From the CEO

Isabel Rafferty, founder and executive director of Canela Media, made her way into the competitive industry thanks to the priority she gave to producing content, specifically aimed at the Spanish-speaking audiences.

“As a Latina, I couldn't find any content that was relevant to me. I realized that there was a huge opportunity at hand, and I had to act quickly. That was what attracted me to launch Canela. I knew there was going to be demand from advertising and the consumer,” Rafferty said in an interview with Forbes magazine after the successful funding round.

CanelaTV

In 2020, amid the pandemic, CanelaTV was launched by the company as a free streaming service financed by advertising aimed at the Latin American public. Users can find a wide variety of content, including soap operas, news, movies, television series, cooking shows, among others, through the Hispanic lens.

Mujer viendo película en una tableta

This streaming platform already reports close to 10 million downloads thanks to partnering with important brands such as Samsung, Xumo and LG, which have contributed to a wide distribution. Advertising deals have also been struck with McDonald's, Hyundai and Nissan, among others, clients that invest between $100,000 and $5 million for advertising every three months. 

The figures

  • Canela Media is a free platform with financing that comes 100% from advertising.
  • It has more than 20,000 hours of premium content.
  • The average session of each user is 74 minutes per day.
  • According to Comscore, by December 2021, the platform reported more than 50,000 unique visitors.

A good outlook

According to Rodrigo García, advisor to Ángeles Investors and member of the board of Canela Media, its CEO is Latina is one of the main reasons for financing the digital content platform. Rafferty's experience in marketing, advertising and business development towards Latino communities, gives them the company the security of having invested in the right areas.

Having attended more than 120 meetings with investors, Rafferty says it was only when she was able to sit down with female and Latino venture capitalists that her company's progression happened.

“All of our investment came from women venture capitalists and people of color in our seed round. Every dollar,” she said.

The audience

Rafferty's desire for CanelaTV is to continue operating as a free platform, so its main audience — Hispanic families, who cannot pay for subscription streaming services — continue to have access to content.

“I think there was a lot of pressure early on when people didn't understand why I wanted to make a free app. But I understood my audience and I understood that the free aspect was very important to them,” Rafferty stresses.

The money raised in the latest investment round will be used to further expand in Latin America and finance 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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