Creditors Take Control as Tech Site Gigaom Shuts Down
Future of site uncertain, bankruptcy currently not an option.
Gigaom, one of the top tech news sites, suddenly shut down last night.
Staffers took to Twitter to relay the news. The nature of the tweets suggest the shutdown was a surprise.
This hurts more than I can say: I was just told Gigaom is shutting down — it has run out of money. We tried our best, but it wasn't enough.
— Mathew Ingram (@mathewi) March 10, 2015
As of 5 pm today we are owned by trustees (SVB). They are in charge of our payments and our events.
— Stacey Higginbotham (@gigastacey) March 10, 2015
The site later confirmed the news with its own post, adding that it was unable to pay its bills. Bankruptcy is not being considered as an option. "We do not know at this time what the lenders intend to do with the assets or if there will be any future operations using those assets," says the statement. "The company does not currently intend to file bankruptcy."
The news underscores the seeming fragility of content publishing online—especially given the suddenness and finality of the decision, and the amount of investment that backed Gigaom. The site raised an $8 million round in early 2014 led by Shea Ventures, just as founder Om Malik decided to leave the company to join True Ventures as a partner.
Nevertheless, like many other sites of its scale—the site claims 6.5 million monthly visitors—Gigaom diversified from a strictly ad-supported model by launching a series of events and a subscription-based data service.
“Our growth will never be the growth of big media companies," then-CEO Paul Walborsky told Folio: in early 2013, describing a strategy embedded in the company from the start. "Pageviews grow exponentially, but advertising only grows with GDP. Put those together and ad revenues are limited. Given those limitations—never reaching 100 million uniques and declining ad rates—we need to do more than ad revenues. What we’re building is not pageviews, we’re building long-term relationships with the audience.”
Walborsky left Gigaom in September 2014.
A statement from Malik revealed little else except for a heart-felt 'goodnight.'