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The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the Wall Street Journal reported that PopSugar, a San Francisco company, was valued at $300 million through the purchase
PopSugar’s online network of websites — offering everything from fashion tips to entertainment updates — attracted venture capital interest from industry behemoths like Sequoia and Institutional Venture Partners (IVP). It has raised $41 million in venture capital funding to date, according to the company.
Founded in 2006, PopSugar claims it reaches “one in two millennial women in the United States” through its brands, which range from a digital marketplace for workout videos, to a subscription box with makeup products.
Group Nine said it builds its brands around the concept of “where young people spend the majority of their time” and cites PopSugar’s direct-to-consumer commerce and engagement as helpful in its quest to build a “next generation media company.” The company claims that through the acquisition, it will have over 200 million social followers.
Other brands Group Nine owns include NowThis, a mobile news brand and Thrillist, a digital brand focusing on food, travel, and entertainment. Including its latest round, a $50 million financing led by Discovery Inc., Group Nine has raised $190 million in known venture capital to date, according to its Crunchbase profile.
Digital publishing has been a busy sector recently. Vox Media bought New York Media, which owns Vulture, The Cut, Grub Street, and more, in a deal that valued New York Media at about $105 million, and Vice Media bought digital publishing company Refinery29 for $400 million, as we reported on previously.
As the CEO of New York Media, Pamela Wasserstein, said in a New York Times article about the aforementioned acquisition that it was not a need-based move. Contrasting from the usual dialogue around shifts and consolidation within the journalism industry, this news is more optimistic. And the slew of acquisitions could give us an inkling into a trend kicking off the next generation of digital-first media companies.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias