Cheddar, A Business-Focused News Network, Has Been Acquired For $200M

Cheddar, a news network that streams across a multitude of platforms, has been acquired by Altice USA for an all-cash deal of $200 million, the Wall Street Journal first reported today.

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The exit is above the company’s previous worth, making it a somewhat rare up-exit for a media company. Cheddar’s last known pre-money valuation was $138 million ($160 million post-money), according to Crunchbase data.

Founded in 2016, Cheddar raised a total of $54 million while an independent company. It has been one of the few digital media startups in recent memory to garner consistent, albeit modest, sums of funding.

Altice USA, Cheddar’s eventual acquirer, participated in the startup’s $19 million Series C announced on May 17, 2017. However, it wasn’t obvious that Altice USA would acquire the company at the time. Indeed, today’s news came as a surprise.

Cheddar’s portfolio of investors include Amazon, which has dabbled in live TV through Prime, Comcast Ventures, AT&T, and the New York Stock Exchange, among others. There is no word as of yet how Cheddar will maintain its near ubiquitous presence on so many devices following the acquisition.

According to the WSJ, the majority of Cheddar’s revenues come from advertising, and Jon Steinberg, the CEO of Cheddar, will now be the president of Altice News. Previously he was an executive at Buzzfeed. Under the new arrangement, Steinberg will also be put in charge of Altice News’ News 12 Channel and i24News.

Cheddar’s rise was marked with scrappiness. The company fought for, and secured distribution of all sorts, as it was determined to carve a space for itself in the market already fed by channels like Fox Business, CNBC, and Bloomberg TV.

The company’s modest exit shows that there is space in the media market for new players. After watching the implosion of Mic and others, it’s a welcome respite.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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