DrDrew.com, a newly launched online community for young adults, announced today that it has secured a $7.5 million (US$) round of funding led by Softbank Venture Capital.
Dr. Drew, also known as Dr. Drew Pinsky, has made his name largely as the co-host of Loveline, MTV’s popular sex and relationships advice show.
Latest Physician In Cyberspace
Pinsky is just the latest well-known physician to grab a piece of the online market. Other examples include former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop of drkoop.com, and medical broadcaster Dean Edell of HealthCentral.com.
Softbank is the largest shareholder in such companies as Yahoo!, E*TRADE and ZDNet, and its venture-capital firm has backed GeoCities, Net2Phone, E-Loan, TheStreet.com, and others. Heidi Roizen, managing director for Softbank Venture Capital’s technology fund, joins DrDrew.com’s board of directors.
“Dr. Drew has the ear of a large and important Internet audience,” Roizen said. “He’s earned their trust and respect. We hope to build on this great franchise with ever expanding content, community, and commerce opportunities.”
Microsoft CFO Among New Investors
Other investors in DrDrew.com’s $7.5 million round of funding include media company Freedom Communication, Mentor Venture Partners and Garage.com. Both Freedom Commmunications and Garage.com had previously invested in DrDrew.com. Freedom’s properties include magazines such as Home Office Computing, Small Business Computing and men’s lifestyle publication P.O.V., and newspapers including the Orange County Register.
New investors in DrDrew.com include Greg Maffei, Microsoft’s chief financial officer, and Joe Grundfest, a professor at Stanford. These individuals join Dale Fuller, the former president of people finder site WhoWhere.com, who had previously invested in the DrDrew.com.
“This distinguished group brings exceptional industry experience and knowledge as well as a passionate belief in our mission — to ultimately help a generation of young people live healthier lives,” said Curtis Geisen, CEO of DrDrew.com.
Based in Pasadena, California, DrDrew.com targets teenagers and adults who are under 35. The site features health content including information from the National Institute of Health, and a daily Q&A with Pinsky. The site also offers live Webcasts where users can call or e-mail in their questions.
DrDrew.com could have a significant built-in audience because of Pinsky’s high profile among the youth market. Loveline, which Pinsky and comedian Adam Carolla co-host, is broadcast on MTV each weeknight and is also syndicated on radio stations. In addition to his radio duties, Pinsky is the medical director for the department of chemical dependency services at Las Encinas Hospital in Pasadena.