Business Insider raises new round; valued at $100 mln -source
NEW YORK, March 5
NEW YORK, March 5 (Reuters) - Business Insider raised $12 million in another round of capital from investors including Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Institutional Venture Partners, RRE Ventures and former Wall Street Journal publisher Gordon Crovitz, according to a Wednesday post by its founder Henry Blodget.
The latest infusion of capital values the media company at about $100 million - about five times its 2013 revenue, according to a source familiar with the company.
Blodget declined to comment on the valuation but added in an email to Reuters, "We're stoked about the future of digital news and thrilled to have such supportive investors."
When AOL bought the Huffington Post for $315 million three years ago - one of the current benchmarks used to judge new media exits - it paid about 6 times 2011 estimated revenue.
AOL informally had offered to buy Business Insider for more than $100 million last year, Fox Business reported in January. AOL declined to comment on Wednesday.
Investors have been directing millions of dollars in capital to new media start-ups such as Mashable, Vox Media, and Refinery 29 as technology and social media has upended how news and advertising are distributed.
For example, Vice Media, the one-time magazine that now has expanded into a host of media outlets including video news, was valued at $1.4 billion when Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox took a 5 percent stake for $70 million in August.
Known for its mix of coverage, including an in-depth profile of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer to a slide show featuring the indignities of international air travel, Business Insider relies on advertising for revenue.
Over the last year, however, it has turned to subscriptions, including a research product known as BI Intelligence, for a new source of money.
Business Insider made about $20 million in revenue last year, the source said.
Blodget wrote in a Business Insider post that the latest round will go toward expanding its newsroom including investing in reporting, video and photography, and building out its subscription service.
Founded in 2007, Business Insider has raised a total of $30 million including the amount in the latest round, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.