Vox Media, which owns publications like New York Magazine and the tech site The Verge, is raising $100 million from Penske Media, which owns a variety of entertainment and business publications like Rolling Stone and Variety.
Penske Media will acquire approximately 20% of Vox Media, making it the company’s largest shareholder.
Compared to Vox Media’s most recent funding round in 2015, when NBCUniversal invested $200 million at a valuation of approximately $1 billion, the terms represent a significant discount. Vox Media was acquired by NBCUniversal at a time when digital publishing was booming and companies like BuzzFeed, Vice Media, and HuffPost were raising capital at astronomically high valuations.
As platforms like Google, Meta, and Amazon have increased their share of the digital-media market, valuations for digital media companies have decreased significantly in recent years.
Jim Bankoff, CEO of Vox Media, stated in a note to employees that the two businesses would continue to operate independently. Recode, SB Nation, Eater, and Vulture are among the digital tech, sports, and lifestyle publications owned by Vox Media. In recent years, the company has purchased Group Nine Media, a holding company that owned the animal site The Dodo, through stock deals. Thrillist, a website devoted to food and travel and now the Pensake media.
This investment by Penske Media is another step forward in Vox Media’s ongoing ascent, allowing Vox Media to continue scaling its existing brands and operations and providing resources for future acquisitions.”
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