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7 things we know now about Mashable Fire sale

December 8, 2017 7:00 am


A once very popular blog site, turned portal for mainly technology but also business, science and culture, has lately succumbed due to inability to raise enough funds to keep going.

Mashable was making millions but losing more millions than it earned and this was saddening news to many of its followers who counted in 28 million media followers and 7.5 million shares per month.

Mashable is a New York based social media platform and was recently sold after having incurred heavy losses in 2016.

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And indeed, the Mashable sale seems to point to a wider malaise in the digital media industry, which has seen other entities such as BuzzFeed and Vice struggling to meet revenue targets, according to a report by Wall Street Journal last month.

So what was unique about the recent sale of Mashable?

Top 7 things we learned

Ownership change

Mashable’s old owner was Pete Cashmore who founded the site in 2005 as a blog about social media, according to Mumbrella Asia, a marketing and media news platform. Now, publishing conglomerate Ziff Davis, a subsidiary of j2 Global, Inc., and a leading global digital-media company headquartered in New York, is the official owner.

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Went cheap

Mashable was sold for less than $50 million, $200M below its valuation, according to Recode, a tech news platform. “In the spring of 2016, Time Warner’s Turner led a $15 million investment round that valued the company at $250 million,” it said.

On the loss column

By 2016, the company recorded a net loss of $10M despite its revenue rising by 36 per cent to $42M, as revealed by Mumbrella Asia. It said that Mashable has struggled to maintain its readership owing to the algorithm correction by Facebook from which it drew the bulk of its traffic.

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Job loss

The sale of Mashable to Ziff Davis, will translate into the laying off of about 50 of the site’s employees while other Mashable employees will be offered jobs at other Ziff Davis publications, according to Recode which added that founder Pete Cashmore will stay with the company.

Office closures

Mashable is headquartered in New York, with offices in London, Los Angeles and Sydney and a global network of journalists. It also had an office in Singapore which will close after completing its sale to Ziff Davis. Meanwhile, Mashable Australia will remain open for the present due to Ziff Davis’ connections to the country.

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More focus

Mashable’s original coverage included, in addition to technology, science, culture entertainment, business and social good. However, Mashable’s new owners plan to refocus the company on tech and tech-lifestyle content, according to Recode.

Cash flow problems

The all-out sale of Mashable comes after the publisher reportedly tried and failed to secure additional funding throughout this year. Much of that failure may be due to a projected loss after pushing toward more video content, according to Tech Crunch, a technology news website. At one point, Mashable was once the fastest growing publication in the world, with traffic peaking at 27 million monthly unique users.

 

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By Dana Halawi
Senior Journalist
Dana Halawi has over seven years of experience in Journalism with articles published in multiple magazines and a newspaper in Lebanon. She specialized in Banking and Finance at the Lebanese American University and has a Master’s degree in International Affairs.



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