Fashion Media Company Refinery29 Acquires Fellow First Round Capital Startup, SocialBomb

Philippe von Borries Refinery 29Refinery29 co-founder Philippe von Borries.

Fashion media company Refinery29 has acquired a fellow First Round Capital startup, Socialbomb.

The amount hasn’t been disclosed, but it’s a talent acquisition. Refinery29 is onboarding all of the creative technology agency’s staff and executives including Socialbomb co-founders Scott Varland and Adam Simon, Chief Technology Officer Adam Parrish, and Software Engineers Gregory Shakar and Axel Esquite.

Refinery29 is a digital media and e-commerce company that’s worth an estimated $100 million; Socialbomb is a creative technology agency that was founded in 2008 and raised about $240,000 from seed investors.

Today’s acquisition stems from a relationship a few years in the making. Refinery29 founders Justin Stefano and Philippe von Borries met with Socialbomb co-founder Scott Varland initially about a site partnership. Socialbomb has created interactive campaigns for brands such as HBO, Red Bull and MTV, and Refinery29 had been ramping up its advertising efforts with equally large brands.

While those initial talks didn’t pan out, the meeting led to today’s buyout.

First Round Capital partner Chris Fralic has worked with both startups. “We’ve been early investors in both companies, and have seen how Socialbomb has done amazing work for their clients over the years, and how Refinery29 is redefining fashion, beauty and shopping for a new generation,” he says. “It’s really exciting to see them partner up to help take Refinery29 to the next level.”

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