Vox Media Buys Curbed Network
Purchase brings three new verticals, but a familiar approach.
Weeks after securing up toÂ $40 million in a fundingÂ round, Vox Media is spending some of the windfall.
The digital media company behind SB Nation, The Verge and Polygon has purchased the Curbed Network for a reported $20 to $30 million in cash and stock. The acquisition includes three locally-focused blog sites centered on real estate (Curbed), restaurants (Eater) and shopping (Racked) that publish in 32 markets and get about 5 million monthly unique visitors, per Quantcast metrics.
The market-by-market approach is reminiscent of Voxâ€™s largest property, sports site SB Nation, which relies on individualized team blogs for most of its content.
All things considered, it seems to be a fairly small addition for Vox whoâ€™s core properties get more than 10-times the traffic of the Curbed Network. Vox has increased their numbers significantly in a short time thoughâ€”almost 90 percentÂ year-over-yearâ€”so the company is well positioned to help the Curbed sites grow.
For Jim Bankoff, CEO of Vox, thereâ€™s already value on the ad side.
â€śBoth Vox and Curbed value storytelling and as a result have attracted the otherwise hard to reach young, affluent, social consumers,â€ť heÂ tells The New York Times. â€śWe think this combined expanded platform will clearly attract premium advertisers.â€ť
The model is apparently working. Lockhart Steele, founder of the Curbed Network and editor-in-chief of the three sites,Â tells MashableÂ the site has been profitable since 2010.
Steele will remain in his current role, though he expects operations to be moved to Voxâ€™s New York offices.