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Defy Media, Home To Smosh And Clevver, To Close Beverly Hills Office: Reports

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Defy Media, a company known for such millennial-focused digital brands as SMOSH, Break and Clevver, is closing its Beverly Hills production office and laying off all employees at the location.

The layoff will impact at least 80 employees at the company, according to Tubefilter which first reported on the closure. A company spokesperson did not respond to Deadlines request for comment.

Defy Media sent out a notice to employees at its Wilshire Boulevard offices that they would be swept up in a permanent group layoff, which takes effect on January 2.

The company was formed from the 2013 merger of Alloy Digital and Break Media, and raised $70 million in venture funding in September 2016, in a round led by Wellington Management.

Defy made its mark creating content for youthful, digital-first viewers. Its various entertainment brands attract some 756 million monthly views, and attract around 67 million followers on social media.

Like many digital media companies, Defy has tried to use its social media popularity as a springboard to other platforms, like television. In 2017, it struck a partnership with Comedy Central International to develop new episodes of the SMOSH comedy series Every Blank Ever for the networks digital platforms.

Defy Media began to show signs of struggle earlier this year, when it laid off about 8% of its workforce in March and shut down unprofitable divisions, including a programmatic ad business, which sold ads to third-party publishers with inventory.

“The changes we made were to accelerate profitability,” CEO Matt Dimond was quoted as saying at the time. “For us, we feel strongly that being profitable and building around your brands is critical in this market.”

In June, Defy Media was hit with a civil suit filed by the internet news site Topix, claiming it was owed $300,000 for ads that Defys now-defunct programmatic ad network ran on its site.

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