Ziff Davis, a tech, gaming and healthcare publisher, is buying the New York-based company for about $50 million, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing anonymous sources. That’s 20% of Mashable’s valuation of $250 million following a $15 million round of funding last year led by Time Warner’s Turner.
Mashable has been trying to sell itself or raise additional outside capital for months. In September, the Journal reported that the company had held extensive discussions with ProSiebenSat.1 about a sale.
Mashable and Ziff Davis reps did not respond to a request for comment.
Cashmore (pictured above) founded Mashable as a blog in 2005 when he was a teen in Scotland. In the last two years it has seen an exodus of top execs including chief strategy officer Adam Ostrow, who departed for TV broadcaster Tegna, and chief revenue officer Ed Wise (now CRO of Romeo Power). Mashable laid off about 30 employees last year after the Series C funding, including longtime editor-in-chief Jim Roberts and previous CRO Seth Rogin.
In 2016, Mashable recorded a net loss of $10 million as revenue rose 36% to $42 million, according to the Journal. The company is targeting $50 million in revenue for 2017 and appears to be on track for a sizable loss, per the WSJ.
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Ziff Davis’s properties include IGN, PCMag, AskMen, Speedtest, ExtremeTech, and Everyday Health. The New York-based publisher was acquired in 2012 by j2 Global, whose business cloud services group offers services like internet fax, virtual phone, and email marketing.
For the third quarter of 2017, Ziff Davis (reported as the digital media group of j2) generated revenue of $127.8 million and an adjusted operating profit of $34.7 million.