16 July 2009
I am going to write a very broad piece tonight about some of the VERY encouraging things I am seeing in Sports 2.0 (which probably needs a real definition btw). I'll still write some of the things on my mind, but that thunder got stolen today with the news that SB Nation, a company somewhat similar to Bloguin, raised a whopping $8 million today in funding.
So where to begin... (you are about to see my first read more attempt ever on a blog)
Who invested: Comcast Interactive Capital led the round with many previous investors participating.
What was the valuation: Conflicting reports of anywhere from 24-30 million. SB Nation raised about a $5 million round in October last year with many thinking that round was at a $10-$15 million valuation.
Interesting Notes: While 8 million was raised it looks a million of that is going into the pockets of the founders and maybe some early employees who are taking equity off the table. Most likely founders Markos Moulitsas and Tyler Bleszinksi are smiling ear to ear right now. They deserve it.
My thoughts: First I wanted to congradulate Jim, Trei, Blez, Chris, and everyone else over there. Great job and very well deserved. I have met several of you over the last year and I can't find a bad thing to say about the company, the people involved, and how they've reacted to me and the start of Bloguin. I don't want to get into it, but as much as some people say we are competition, its not really that true. In fact our advertising is now sold in a collective package along with SB Nation.
The million dollar question is..... why did they rasine the money/ what are they going to do with the money? I hope we get some type of comment from one of the guys at SB Nation or elsewhere.
You'll probably get something to the effect of "grow the network, improve the platform, advance the strategic partnerships we have in place....." but there is more to this story. $8 million is a lot of money and they either have an agressive plan on what the money will be used for or they were burning through a lot of money and saw the opportunity to capitlize on their growth over their last 10 months.
I tend to think that its more that they have something up their sleeve that will cost some capital although its very iffy on if SB nation is profitable at this point in time. Regardless if they are not profitable yet, its very hard to believe they were really burning through money and "needed" this money.
So what's the plan? Bring ad sales in house? Buy some larger blogs or hell even a blog network ;) I've gone through maybe a handful of things in my mind, but who knows. Probably its for 2-3 initiatives and just extra capital to have around to get them to an exit down the road. Given AOL's prowl to add blogs under Tim Armstrong and SB Nation's close partnership with Yahoo, its possible we could see something on this front in the next 12 months.
In closing, congrats to SB Nation and their new investors (Comcast and Versus are foaming at the mouth to get in this space and finally did). Its another positive step in this small niche in the business world that seems to be heating up.