Gawker takes outside money for the first time

THE STORY: Gawker Media sells minority stake to investment company


Hey, everybody —

I’m pleased to let you know that Gawker Media Group has agreed to a minority investment from Columbus Nova, a firm with interests in companies such as Rhapsody, Harmonix, 300 Entertainment and Zoom Data — as well as the makers of Everquest.
The transaction is expected to close after formal approval of shareholders, tomorrow. It will be the first time GMG has taken outside capital.

The funding will strengthen GMG’s financial reserves as we prepare for trial this March in Hulk Hogan’s $100 million invasion of privacy lawsuit, in which we are defending our right to report truthfully on the conduct of public figures./CONTINUES

It will position the company’s seven media brands — Gawker in news and politics, Gizmodo for technology, Lifehacker for productivity, Deadspin for sports, Jezebel for the modern woman, Kotaku for video games and Jalopnik for car culture — for expansion deeper into their categories and out into new markets.

Our writers, editors, illustrators, and video producers inspire honest conversations around shared interests and passions, and enjoy unique credibility with a digital generation mistrustful of mainstream institutions and media.

In e-commerce, international markets, events, influencer marketing and video, each property has tremendous untapped potential. Through e-commerce, which drove $150m in sales for merchant partners in 2015, the company has developed a secondary revenue stream to augment its brand advertising business. The company enjoyed its tenth successive year of double-digit revenue growth in 2015.

With 100m users a month in the US and international markets, GMG is the most heavily trafficked digital media company to fund its own expansion. The company has been to this point owned predominantly by founders, journalists and other current and former employees — and our families.

After investing, Columbus Nova Technology Partners will have a minority shareholding and one of five seats on Gawker Media Group’s board of directors. Columbus Nova is fully committed to the editorial integrity that underpins the audience appeal of GMG brands.

I hope many of you will soon have a chance to meet Jason Epstein, Managing Director of Columbus Nova Technology Partners, who is leading the firm’s investment in GMG.

As you’ll see, Jason has deep experience in media and entertainment: he’s a fan of the brands we have created, and an admirer of the business we have built. He’s a bold and creative thinker, and has already proven himself an invaluable adviser on business and strategic questions.

GMG has competed against behemoths in the media marketplace with flair, boldness and sweat — and the money we made ourselves. With proper financial backing, just imagine what we can do.