Richard Rosenblatt, one of the angel investors in Vator.tv and best known as former MySpace chairman, just pinged me to let me know that I can now share with the world that he closed a $100 million round of financing. The latest valuation for Demand Media is now $1 billion.
Based on Richard's estimate of about $100 million in advertising, that's a much more palatable multiple than the 60-plus times revenue multiple that Micrososft is reportedly considering for Facebook. According to many reports, Microsoft is considering making an investment in Facebook that would value the social network at some $10 billion. Facebook is expected to generate $130 million in sales this year.
Both valuations are significantly lofty, with Demand Media less so. Congratulations to Richard on such a premium price. But as Jimmy Wu (Internet analyst and hedge fund manager) said regarding Facebook's potential valuation, a high price today could be a double-edged sword. As he puts it, leaving some money on the table, or taking a low valuation, would serve future employees and prospective public market investors, especially since the business model is still young and rapidly evolving.
Ironically, while Demand Media is valued at 10 times this year's sales, it's highly unlikely Richard would pay the same multiple for companies he's acquiring.
In total, Demand Media has raised $320 million. Most of those funds are going toward acquiring niche sites , such as ExpertVillage.com, SoYouWanna.com, GardenGuides.com, Golflink.com and MountainZone.com.
Here's a great article in Forbes.com about Richard and Demand Media.