Vox Media, a Washington media group that owns SB Nation, has received a $46.5 million investment led by General Atlantic, an investment firm based in New York City and Greenwich, Conn.
The investment places Vox’s worth at nearly $380 million, a sign of increasing values among Web publishers such as San Francisco-based Reddit and PopSugar and New York-based BuzzFeed.
Vox is led by chief executive Jim Bankoff, a former AOL executive. Its media brands include the technology site the Verge, the news site Vox.com, the food blog Eater, the fashion and shopping brand Racked, the Curbed real estate site, and the Polygon game site.
Vox.com’s editor in chief is former Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein, who oversaw the Wonkblog for the newspaper.
Bankoff compared Vox and its growing business to earlier forms of media, such as magazines and television.
“A couple of generations ago, magazines about news, sports and food took root. When I was a kid, cable networks about news and sports and food took root and grew to become valuable companies,” Bankoff said in an interview. “New forms of advertising were created around both of those industries. Now, there’s a new medium and new brands that take advantage of this medium and what audiences and advertisers are looking for. We believe there’s an opportunity to create a great company based on that.”
Vox, located near Dupont Circle, plans to use the money to expands its brands. Anton Levy, head of General Atlantic’s Internet and technology sector, said in a statement on the firm’s Web site that Bankoff “is not only one of the foremost minds in digital media, he is also a proven business builder.”
“An investment from General Atlantic, no matter what the dollar figure, is a crystal clear sign that Vox is hitting the ball hard,” said serial entrepreneur Mark Walsh, executive chairman of Homesnap, a real estate site. “I continue to be amazed at the dollar figures that are being spent on these non-public properties. The numbers are eye-popping.”
In some cases, investors are estimating the future worth of the companies to be higher than the values placed during the dot-com bubble in 1999-2001, when prices were also steep.
The difference, Walsh said, is “there are actually fewer companies getting these large investments” than there were in 2000.
More from Capital Business: