Recurrent Ventures Acquires Donut Media, the Largest Automotive Brand on YouTube
Donut solidifies Recurrent’s presence in the automotive vertical while positioning the company to expand a robust video strategy across its digital media portfolio
- Donut adds a loyal audience of 78 million monthly video views, 5.8 million YouTube subscribers, and 4 million Facebook followers to Recurrent’s portfolio
- Donut joins renowned auto brands The Drive and Car Bibles, as well as Popular Science, Outdoor Life, Task & Purpose, and BobVila.com at Recurrent
- With Recurrent, Donut will invest more in its content, further expand its revenue streams, and integrate its expertise with Recurrent’s portfolio of brands
November 9, 2021 (New York, NY) — Recurrent Ventures today announced that it has acquired independent digital media company Donut Media. Donut is renowned for its massive YouTube channel, which garners millions of views every week on a wide variety of automotive entertainment videos. This acquisition marks Recurrent’s first acquisition in the video space, representing gains in social, video, and e-commerce capabilities, and setting a new strategic direction for the company.
Founded in 2015, Donut first rose to fame in 2016 with its video “Two Grannies, One Lamborghini” (10.5 million views) before finding ongoing success with the launch of the iconic series Up to Speed in the summer of 2017. The series’ success helped grow the studio’s audience by 439 percent that year, and, since then, Donut has steadily grown their audience, revenue, and company to include seven additional YouTube series, two podcasts, more than 30 full-time staff members, 5.8 million YouTube subscribers, 4 million Facebook fans, 1.2 million Instagram followers, a line of premium car collectibles, and an extensive merchandise collection. With Recurrent, Donut will continue to grow as well as expand its revenue streams, and deploy its winning social, video, and branded content expertise across Recurrent’s portfolio of brands, including Task & Purpose, Field & Stream, and Popular Science.
“This acquisition represents a pivotal moment in our strategy, as we’re integrating a company of Donut’s caliber, magnitude, and capabilities at the ideal time,” says Recurrent CEO, Lance Johnson. “Investing in this brand, putting more resources behind its brilliant team, and enabling them with our Recurrent Playbook will only further Donut’s growth. This solidifies our dominance in the automotive vertical and establishes Recurrent’s foothold in video and social for years to come. We’re committed to delivering our audiences the best content out there, while also providing creators with the capabilities to amplify their voices across web, email, social, podcasting, and video.”
All Donut employees will be joining Recurrent. Donut co-founder and CEO Matthew Levin will continue to lead Donut’s day-to-day operations, as well as oversee Recurrent’s video strategy as SVP of Video. CCO Jesse Wood, Editor-in-Chief James Pumprey, and hosts Nolan Sykes, Zach Jobe, and Jeremiah Burton—along with the many talented creatives behind the scenes—will all remain in their roles in addition to advising on strategy across Recurrent’s portfolio.
“We’ve had many acquisition offers over the years, but we’ve held out for a partner who truly values Donut’s creative voice and unique culture, while also presenting an opportunity for us to push our vision even further. Our whole team feels confident that Recurrent is that company,” says Levin. “We’re excited to accelerate the growth of Donut, to work with Recurrent’s brilliant editorial teams and iconic brands to bring them onto YouTube and other social video platforms in a big way.”
As with all acquisitions, Recurrent will invest in Donut’s ability to provide content focused on sustainability and ensure its product lines draw from more sustainably-sourced materials. Donut’s staff will work out of their Los Angeles studios as they continue to scale their video operations. North Equity LLC is an investor in Recurrent; both North and Recurrent are headquartered in Miami.
ABOUT RECURRENT VENTURES
Recurrent is an innovative digital media company that empowers brands to grow, and connect with consumers in a way that is enjoyable, sustainable, inspiring, and profitable—while maintaining editorial integrity. Its best-in-class brands like Popular Science, The Drive, Domino, MEL, Outdoor Life, SAVEUR, Futurism, and Car Bibles engage a combined audience of more than 60 million monthly unique visitors. Initially founded in late 2018 with the acquisition of The Drive, the company rapidly expanded under the ownership and backing of North Equity LLC to include 20 digital media brands across automotive, home, lifestyle, military, outdoors, and science and tech verticals. Recurrent is headquartered in Miami, with additional offices in New York and San Francisco, and a virtual-first workforce across the United States.
ABOUT DONUT MEDIA
Founded in 2015 by Ben Conrad, Matthew Levin, and Nick Moceri, Donut Media is a multi-platform media company dedicated to bringing accessible automotive content to audiences of all ages. As the top automotive YouTube channel in the US, Donut has recorded over 2 billion views by pioneering a comedic and informative approach to car content that rebuked the gatekeeper traditions of modern car culture. Donut Media’s expanding catalog of original series include Up to Speed, a series dedicated to helping fans understand the significance of iconic cars, Money Pit, an insider’s look at the journey behind project cars from a financially-safe distance, and HiLow, a two-car experiment that explores if expensive parts actually translate to better performance. Donut has more than 30 employees in their Los Angeles, CA, headquarters and beyond digital content, operates a wildly successful merchandise line, brokers on-screen branding deals, licenses content internationally, and most recently, launched a wholly-owned car collectible brand, STOCKY, that secured nearly half a million dollars in pre-sales.