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Carlos Watson interviewing Malcolm Gladwell at OZY Fest. Photo courtesy of OZY Media.

OZY Media, a media and entertainment company led by Carlos Watson, said Friday that it's raised $35 million in new venture capital funding.

The bottom line: OZY originally launched as a digital magazine for the "change generation," but has moved its focus toward TV production, podcasts, and live events.

  • OZY's new funding round was led by Marc Lasry, a hedge fund manager and co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks. Lasry also will join OZY's board of directors.
  • Other investors included Interlock Partners, LionTree, Atinum Investment, GSV Capital, Axel Springer, Emerson Collective, and three partners of buyout firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.
  • The Silicon Valley-based company has now raised around $70 million since being founded in 2013.

The big picture: Watson tells Axios that the shift toward TV was driven in part by Facebook algorithm changes, and in part by the explosive growth in new TV platforms (including all the streaming services).

  • He also says that the annual OZY Fest event will return to New York City next summer, after this year's event was canceled due to excessive heat.
    • "It was zero percent fun," says Watson of the cancellation, after OZY had sold more than 100,000 tickets. "It's something we learned from."
  • Watson declined to comment on revenue, except to say that OZY's top-line has grown around 50% year-over-year for the past four years, and that the company expects to be profitable in calendar 2020.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

UN Security Council meeting on Israel-Gaza as fighting enters 7th day

Smoke billows from a fire following Israeli airstrikes on multiple targets in Gaza on May 16. Photo: Mohammed Abed/AFP via Getty Images

The United Nations Security Council was preparing to meet Sunday, as the aerial bombardment between Israel and Hamas between entered a seventh day.

The latest: Four Palestinians died in airstrikes early Sunday, as Israeli forces bombed the home of Gaza's Hamas chief, Yehya al-Sinwar, per Reuters.

7 hours ago - World

In photos: Protests in U.S., across the world over Israeli–Palestinian conflict

A protest march in support of Palestinians near the Washington monument in Washington, D.C. on May 15. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Thousands of people rallied across the U.S. and the world Saturday following days of violence in Gaza and Israel that's killed at least 145 Palestinians, including 41 children, and eight Israelis, per AP.

The big picture: Most demonstrations were in support of Palestinians. There were tense scenes between pro-Israeli government protesters and pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Winnipeg, Canada, and Leipzig, Germany, but no arrests were made, CBS News and DW.com report.

Updated 14 hours ago - World

Biden in call with Netanyahu raises concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza

Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images

President Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday and raised concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza and the bombing of the building that housed AP and other media offices, according to Israeli officials.

The big picture: At least 140 Palestinians, including dozens of children, have been killed in Gaza since fighting between Israel and Hamas began Monday, according to Palestinian health officials. Nine people, including two children, have been killed by Hamas rockets in Israel.

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