• Friday Beers is rebranding as Almost Friday Media as it grows beyond its Instagram roots.
  • The startup has raised $6 million from a group of investors including former AOL CEO Tim Armstrong.
  • CEO Jack Barrett said “opening the aperture a bit wider” will help the company expand to new platforms.

The digital media business that began as popular Instagram comedy account Friday Beers is rebranding as Almost Friday Media after raising $6 million in seed funding from a group of investors led by former AOL CEO Tim Armstrong and finance executive Robert Greenhill, Jr. 

Almost Friday CEO Jack Barrett told Insider the rebrand and fundraise were born out of the founding team’s realization that there was an “opportunity to take our brands and become this comedy platform and unify a lot of creators who we really thought shared a common audience and tone of voice.”

The Venice Beach-based company, which has 15 full-time employees, has built a social media following of more than 3 million from what Barrett describes as “feel-good, coming-of-age” comedy. The Friday Beers Instagram account, which has 1.6 million followers, has for two years shared memes and video clips that capture the vibe of gathering with your crew for, well, a Friday beer. 

With the rebrand, the company is “opening the aperture a bit wider than just, ‘These guys are the beer joke makers online,'” said Barrett, who co-founded the business with his brothers Max and Sam. “That’s not what we want our territory to be. Our territory is, ‘These are the guys who joke about getting through life with your friends and looking forward to really great times together.'” 

Sam Barrett, who serves as the company’s chief growth officer, added that Almost Friday is “a much more inclusive brand.”

Almost Friday’s first round of funding came together thanks to a perhaps unlikely Friday Beers fan. According to Jack Barrett, Greenhill — a principal at Barrow Street Advisors — had been following Friday Beers for some time when he saw the account spoof the 1960s surf documentary “Endless Summer,” for which he owns the rights. 

Greenhill reached out to the Barretts and agreed to license some assets from the film, including the original movie poster artwork, which is now used in an “Endless Friday” T-shirt that Almost Friday sells in its store for $27. 

“As he learned about the business, he was supremely supportive,” said Jack Barrett. “I told him he’d be my first call when we started raising.” 

The round also includes contributions from investors Lloyd Danzig and Matt Drapkin, Dreamscape Hospitality President Scott Broder, talent manager Jimmy Miller — whose agency, Mosaic, reps Almost Friday — and Jordan Zaslav, the son of Discovery CEO David Zaslav who serves as general manager of Axios’ communications software arm.

The company began Almost Friday as a separate Instagram brand, building up 131,000 followers in 18 months. As the new corporate banner, Almost Friday will house several brands, including Friday Beers and DJ Press Play, the anonymous musician who is signed to the company’s indie music label. 

Almost Friday plans to use the branding refresh and funding to grow beyond its Instagram roots, including creating more comedy content for other social media platforms, investing in its line of branded merchandise, adding shows to its podcast network, and continuing to develop film and television projects, including a scripted comedy with Adam Sandler’s production shingle, Happy Madison. 

Almost Friday generates revenue by selling merch, staging live events, and working with brand sponsors, but this fundraise gives the company a financial cushion as it takes risks by partnering with new comedic voices and testing out content adjacent to its core Friday Beers brand. 

“Phase 1.0 was just building a community,” said Jack Barrett. “We’re just beginning that process of figuring out how we scale effectively across all these different mediums.” 

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