Broad Ripple media firm nets $25M in equity round

Odyssey, a Broad Ripple firm behind a fast-growing website for millennials, has raised $25 million in a recent venture capital round.

The round was spearheaded by lead investors Michael Lazerow, who sold Buddy Media to in 2012 for $800 million, and Jason Epstein of New York-based investment firm Columbus Nova. Both will be joining Odyssey’s board, company officials confirmed early Wednesday afternoon.

Odyssey runs a popular millennial-focused website that crowd-sources articles from mostly student writers, racking up tens of millions of page views in the process and selling those views to advertisers. Headlines on the site include "Four [Game of Thrones] Characters You'll Want as a Roommate" and "I Live Where You Vacation."

The 7-year-old operation previously published newspapers on college campuses, but it launched an analytics-driven website in summer 2014 and now attracts 30 million monthly unique visitors.

Odyssey employs 37 in Indianapolis and plans to hire more this year. Last year it hashed out a deal with economic development officials to employ 114 Hoosiers by the end of 2017 in exchange for tax incentives.

Last May, the company announced that it raised $3 million in venture capital from local angel investors including former ExactTarget executives Scott Dorsey and Tim Kopp. At the time, Odyssey's website had about 10 million monthly unique visitors.

The $25 million round is the largest for a local company since Mobi Wireless Management secured $35 million last summer from New York-based Bregal Sagemount. But unlike Mobi’s haul, Odyssey’s investment includes multiple investors, including Chicago-based Hyde Park Venture Partners and Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Start Garden.

The round is considered a Series B round, which denotes equity financing events that follow smaller Series A and seed rounds. Odyssey has raised $32 million to date, officials said.

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