Read the 12-page pitch deck that content studio Jubilee used to raise $1.1 million to expand beyond YouTube and TikTok

Jason Y. Lee, founder of Jubilee Media.
  • Jubilee is a media company best known for its YouTube videos about empathy.
  • In September, it raised a $1.1 million seed-plus round and launched a new vertical, Nectar.
  • See the pitch deck that persuaded investors to bet on Jubilee and its new venture.

In September, the media company Jubilee announced a $1.1 million seed-plus round, led by Strong Ventures and with the support of several angel investors.

Jason Y. Lee, a former management consultant, started Jubilee in 2017 with the goal of fostering empathy and “provoking understanding and human connection,” he told Insider.

The company started with a YouTube channel and became popular for its video series like “Middle Ground,” “Versus 1,” and “Odd One Out.”

Today, it has more than 40 employees, and its content appears across YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, and TikTok.

Creating videos for social media is only part of what the company does.

Last year, Jubilee produced a documentary that was presented at the Tribeca Film Festival. This year, it launched a card game and a content vertical focused on love, Nectar.

With Nectar, Lee said he wanted to provide an empathetic take on dating, beyond the “broken swipe culture” young people experience today.

Funds for the seed-plus round are being used to toward this project.

With Nectar, Lee said he wanted to move beyond people viewing the videos to direct user participation in various forms.

The first steps in this direction have been building Loveprint — a love personality test that’s a take on evaluations like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Enneagram — and organizing in-person dating events, recreating some of Jubilee’s popular video formats, like “50 vs 50,” where 50 women and 50 men try speed dating.

To seek funds, Lee went to investors who already knew Jubilee, like Steve Chen, a cofounder of YouTube, as well as prominent figures in the tech scene, like Sam Yam, a cofounder of the subscription platform Patreon.

“We were really strategic to actually look for angel investors who had tech experience,” Lee said. “A lot of these folks have experience in building platform. We want to leverage their experience and their understanding so we can avoid a lot of pitfalls.”

Lee set out to pitch investors in early spring, before the economy took a major hit.

As the economic situation worsened, he leveraged the fact that Jubilee was already profitable.

“A lot of investors are becoming a lot more conscientious and wary,” Lee said. “I think it positioned us well that we had been pretty frugal in a lot of ways, pretty discerning, so people were a lot more interested in investing in a company that had a clear path to revenue existing but also future.”

Read through 12 pages of the pitch deck Jubilee used to raise its $1.1 million seed-plus round:

Note: Four slides containing confidential information were removed at Jubilee’s request. These slides were about the specific game plan to grow Nectar, details of products in development, and specifics of how the funding would be used.

The pitch deck opens with the phrase ‘We are Jubilee’ and the company slogan.

Jubilee Media

The deck is meant to present some data points illustrating Jubilee’s success, with a focus on presenting its new vertical, Nectar, Lee said.

“Because Jubilee was an entity that a lot of our investors were familiar with, it wasn’t necessarily those kind of pitch meetings where I said, ‘Let me introduce the problem and the thesis,'” he said, adding: “We were coming into the story maybe a quarter of the way in.”

The second page gives a short presentation and numbers about the company.

Jubilee Media

This slide briefly describes the company and its mission.

It also provides examples of the type of video formats Jubilee created, like those for “Middle Ground,” “Versus 1,” and “Odd One Out.”

The slide also gives some numbers about Jubilee’s social-media audience: more than 500 million quarterly views, 3.6 billion organic views, 12.3 million subscribers, and an eight-minute watch time on average.

The next page provides numbers about Jubilee’s viewership.

Jubilee Media

The bar chart indicates Jubilee’s growth in viewership by quarter since 2017.

The pie chart shows which platforms Jubilee’s subscribers are on: 56.1% are on YouTube, 19.9% on Facebook, 12.7% on Snapchat, and 11.2% on TikTok.

A note at the bottom says: “Growth measured in 12 month span; slowdown in 2020 viewership was due to halt in production from COVID.”

The fourth slide shows Jubilee’s gross annual revenue growth.

Jubilee Media

(Editor’s note: Jubilee requested revenue numbers in this slide be redacted.)

In 2021, Jubilee’s revenue numbers more than doubled.

The numbers in this slide were crucial to persuade investors, Lee said, adding: “In a lot of ways, our first several years of Jubilee was just about demonstrating to people that there is an opportunity for a media company that’s about human connection and empathy, which even in 2017, most people were very skeptical of.”

He added: “Most of the investors I spoke to initially said, ‘No, there’s no chance.’ And now, several years later, I think we’ve really clearly demonstrated that there’s a huge appetite for this.”

The next slide lays the foundation for Jubilee’s goal: going from an audience that just watches content to one that participates in it.

Jubilee Media

Referring to Jubilee’s core audience, Gen Z, this slide aims to highlight how the different video formats the company produces are meant to encourage audience participation.

The next slide provides a case study of Jubilee’s first digital product, Blindspotter.

Jubilee Media

This slide describes Jubilee’s partnership with Ground News, in which the two built a custom test about users’ news bias. The slide says more than 120,000 people took this and shared their results in a week.

Lee said this slide was important to highlight Jubilee’s ability to move beyond simply producing videos.

“A big question that we would get is, ‘You guys are a media company. You make video content. What do you mean that you believe in participation? What do you mean that you want to build technology?'” he said.

While startups often struggle to gain a user base, Lee said this example showed investors how Jubilee was at an advantage and able to “get users onto platform or into product very quickly.”

The next slide introduces the company’s new vertical, Nectar.

Jubilee Media

The next slides introduce Jubilee’s new vertical focused on love, Nectar, which hopes to speak to a younger demographic.

To demonstrate the gap in the market, the deck provides some data about contemporary dating culture and apps.

Jubilee Media

The data points in this slide are taken from a March survey conducted by the venture-capital firm New Enterprise Associates.

Jubilee included them to illustrate the market size for dating apps and young people’s dissatisfaction with what’s on offer.

The following slide introduces Nectar and its logo.

Jubilee Media

The last slides — some of which aren’t included, at Jubilee’s request — give a more-detailed presentation of Nectar.

The next slide describes Nectar in broad strokes.

Jubilee Media

This slide is meant to show investors the plan for Nectar.

“It got folks excited about now the future and the vision of what we could do in this space,” Lee said.

Nectar plans to create an ecosystem of content, products, and touchpoints that involves audiences on all those stages, with content around self-exploration, dating in the digital age, relationships, and the “beyond-dating” phase — which could mean anything from marriage to divorce, Lee said.

Before closing, the deck lists some of Jubilee’s most prominent investors.

Jubilee Media

This slide lists 10 of Jubilee’s angel investors. 

The majority of them had previously invested in the company, while three of them had already committed before the start of the latest fundraise, Lee said.

The deck closes with a thank-you slide, with the name of Jubilee’s founder and CEO, Lee.

Jubilee Media

Correction: October 27, 2022 — An earlier version of this story said that Lee was a former banker. He is a former management consultant.