Mashable takes first outside money, a $13.3M investment

Updata Partners leads round; Company plans to expand advertising offering, including BrandLab

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
January 6, 2014
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It was not that long ago that it looked like news website Mashable was ready to throw in the towel and let itself be sold for $200 million to CNN. It is a good thing that Mashable didn't let that deal go though, because now, less than two years later, it looks like the site is really ready to take off.

After being bootstrapped for nearly nine years, Mashable has decided to take outside money for the first time, it was announced on Monday.

Mashable has raised a $13.3 million Series A round, which was led by Updata Partners. The funding also came from New Market Ventures Partners, Social Starts, Buddy Media co-founders Michael and Kass Lazerow, Elio Leoni Sceti, CEO of Iglo Group and tech private investor, and David Jones, Global CEO of Havas and Founder of One Young World.

The company will be putting the funds toward expanding its editorial operations, developing new tech products, expanding its BrandLab and advertising offerings, and opening up a larger headquarters in New York City and new offices in Los Angeles and London.

"I'm also excited we've decided to pave our own path through this media world by investing strategically in our product team, to build a beautiful responsive site, and develop our own proprietary technology platforms," Mashable's founder and CEO Pete Cashmore wrote in a blog post.

"With new capabilities, we've developed in data science and artificial intelligence, we've been able to create products like Mashable Velocity — our viral prediction platform — and have ambitious plans for the future."

It is unclear why Mashable felt it needed to take money now after going without any outside funding for so long. VatorNews has reached out to Mashable to find out, and we will update if we learn more. 

Founded in 2005, Mashable was started by Cashmore when he was a teenager in Scotland, and has since grown into a site that attracted more than 30 million monthly readers. It has expanded beyond simply being another tech blog, to become a platform what helps advertisers make their own content.

Over just the past year, Mashable developed BrandLab, which works with brands to help them tell their stories more effectively using social media. The company also launched it social marketing platform called Mashable Lift.

"It’s been quite a journey since I started Mashable in rural Scotland as a teenager, keen to immerse myself in the web revolution that was transforming our lives. I threw myself into the world of new media, fascinated by an industry with seemingly limitless possibility," said Cashmore.

The site, which has offices in New York and San Francisco, and soon Los Angeles and London, employs a team of more than 120 full-time workers.

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