Video news startup Brut raises $40M, officially launches in the U.S.

Digital media startup Brut is announcing that it has raised $40 million in Series B funding. The money will be used, in part, to finance its launch in the United States.

CEO Guillaume Lacroix said that that he and his co-founders all come from the French TV industry, where they were all “frustrated not to be able to follow up the conversation” on social media. So they created Brut as a way deliver video news that felt conversational and authentic, hoping to spark viewer conversation, then take advantage of that commentary to find future stories.

“We always always say to journalists, ‘Forget the audience, think about your two best friends,’” Lacroix told me. “‘Would you be excited to have this conversation tonight with your friends? If yes, let’s do it.’”

The publisher focuses on topics like social good and social impact — for example, it published the first viral video featuring climate change activist Greta Thunberg. Lacroix argued that Brut’s audience is looking for solutions, not just problems, in contrast to the “negative news cycle” that they see on traditional media.

“People are not waiting anymore — they don’t wait for institutions to do it, they don’t wait for the collectivity

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