Malka Media wants to bridge the media and financial worlds

Malka Media co-founders Jeff Frommer and Louis Krubich.

A content studio and digital bank may seem like an unconventional marriage, but MoneyLion Inc.’s acquisition of Malka Media Group is part of a long-term plan for the leadership of Malka. It also reflects larger trends in the media, such as the increased interest in non-fungible tokens and the provision of educational content on various platforms.

Malka Media Group, which has two main offices in Santa Monica and Jersey City, NJ, was acquired on November 16 by MoneyLion, based in New York City, for approximately $ 75 million. However, Malka Media founders Louis Krubich and Jeff Frommer began laying the foundation for their bridge between the media and finance worlds long before Krubich, Malka’s CEO, and Frommer, the president, officially collaborated.

Malka reported creating more than 1 million pieces of content in 2021, and its digital content increased six-fold over the year, leading to its acquisition. To date, the company has produced six documentaries, more than 30 digital series and more than 1,000 live streams. His talent pool includes more than 30 professional athletes and his clients include Netflix Inc., Showtime, Amazon Studios and many others in television, film, streaming and social media. Malka told the Business Journal that 99% of her customer loyalty is with her customers.

Malka has grown from three employees to 170 since it was founded in 2012 and expects to hire at least 30 more employees in early 2022.

In its investor presentation on the acquisition, the company expected more than
$ 25 million in sales in 2021, and Krubich said that number was due to 50-100% growth every year since the company was founded. Krubich and Frommer have been running day-to-day business since the takeover.

Origin story

Malka, named for Krubich’s Hebrew name, was founded while working on production at MTV companies to create the kind of content Malka would eventually provide. Frommer, a classmate of Krubich’s at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, was an associate vice president of computer software company Adobe Inc. when he wrote a check that helped Krubich land some of his initial investments.

Her plan was to combine Krubich’s manufacturing experience with Frommer’s business acumen, and her timing couldn’t have been more accidental; An influx of inexpensive, easy-to-use equipment at the time, from DSLR cameras to editing software, enabled them to appeal to customers whose needs were outside of the traditional media and advertising models.

“When companies and brands began to see a need for content and assets in their own organizations, be it publicly available assets, internal assets, sales resources, cross-company things, or business-to-business needs, we could do it at scale,” said Krubich.

Frommer added: “We try to live by a motto, which is that the value of the story does not lie in the quality of production, but in the quality of the story. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to tell a great story, but you have to be agile enough to get into the conversation if something happens that your brand needs to be a part of. “

The co-founders said they realized that getting into content production would be a whole different challenge now, as smartphones have enabled users to record, light, color and edit content on a single handheld device. But when Malka first hit, it immediately stood out for being financially and logistically nimble than older production companies that were using more traditional Hollywood methods at the time, such as spending six weeks and spending $ 100,000 on one Creating 30-second content that wanted to go on Snapchat and then disappear.

With Showtime Sports, one of the company’s first major customers, Frommer and Krubich demonstrated their talent not only for creating content quickly, but also for participating in trend discussions. Covering basic event formalities to promote Showtime’s weekly boxing events, Malka was quickly able to expand his results from short promotional videos they called “workout porn” to a list that is now an all-access Show and a regular live stream of each press conference and weigh in.

Content industries

Krubich and Frommer insist that regardless of MoneyLion’s acquisition of Malka, they would eventually have added cryptocurrency and real estate content as verticals alongside the company’s sports, comedy, health and wellness content.

But the takeover provided Malka with additional funding and infrastructure to grow on a scale that was not possible when Krubich and Frommer kicked off young entrepreneurs. In addition to supporting the new owners, the company saw the merger as an opportunity to break new ground with content in another area in which it did not yet exist or at least not yet had important cultural discussions.

“When NFTs are being bought for hundreds of thousands of dollars and the majority of the people in this country don’t understand what it is, there needs to be more stories to be told and more education to be provided,” said Krubich.

“If you believe that creators are driving commerce and that the next generation doesn’t believe in the existing financial infrastructure and they are being informed by people through TikTok and Snapchat and Twitter and podcasts, then a digital bank is able to make better financial decisions , you really have to be a part of this creative marketplace, ”added Krubich.

Frommer stated that he is not limiting Malka’s purpose to promoting new financial products like NFTs or cryptocurrencies, but instead promoting financial literacy for members of a generation who either do not understand their infrastructure or have become disaffected with old institutions.

“Where will this next generation of hardworking Americans be trained?” He asked. “Where are you going to find out about a curated place that makes it feel like I’m not eating my broccoli but being entertained while I study?”

He cited the success of social media inventor “Miss Excel” Kat Norton. Frommer estimates that Norton earned more than $ 1 million teaching her more than 569,000 followers on Instagram and over 705,000 followers on TikTok how to use the spreadsheet software while dancing in short videos. Malka customer Matt Gresia, whose slogan is “Help you understand everything about money”, has more than 3.8 million followers on TikTok alone.

Frommer’s plans for the future include a self-produced “Network of Shows” on various topics – an initiative that gives “Creators a platform and a voice for life in an omnichannel world”. But it’s the intertwining of Malka’s content that he argued keeps the company at the forefront and is part of the cultural conversation.

“What we’ve done has always been on the cutting edge of agile storytelling, be it for Hollywood, for digital, or (user-generated content) for endemic social channels,” said Frommer. “How can you participate in this conversation faster? It all has to be collaborative if we are to produce things at the speed of culture. So there are a multitude of needs that brands need today, and they need a partner who has them all. ”

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