One of the Internet’s most well-known tech sites is coming under new ownership. According to a recent report from The Wall Street Journal, publisher Ziff Davis has agreed to buy New York-based company Mashable for around $50 million.
That may sound like a lot of money but it’s apparently far less than the site’s founder, Peter Cashmore, and investors were hoping for. As Variety highlights, that’s just 20 percent of the site’s $250 million valuation after a $15 million round of funding led by Turner.
Mashable has been looking for a buyer for months. In September, it was reported that the company had held extensive talks with ProSiebenSat.1 regarding an acquisition.
Mashable was founded by Cashmore as a blog in 2005 and has grown through the ranks ever since. Times have been a bit tough as of late, however, as several executives have departed in recent years including longtime editor-in-chief Jim Roberts and former CRO Seth Rogin. The site laid off about 30 percent of its staff last year following the Series C round of funding.
We’ve seen a lot of consolidation in the online gaming / tech reporting sector in recent years. In 2013, for example, Ziff Davis closed 1UP, GameSpy and UGO, a move that left many without jobs and relocated talent across several other sites.
Ziff Davis is well-known in the Internet space and owns several properties including PCMag, IGN, Speedtest, ExtremeTech and AskMen. Ziff is also a TechSpot partner for advertising sales.
As for what this means for the future of Mashable, well, who knows. I can't imagine Ziff Davis would buy the site just to shut it down but then again, crazier things have happened.
Image courtesy Mireya Acierto, Getty Images