Demand Media files for IPO

Bambi Francisco Roizen · August 6, 2010 · Short URL:

The new media's S-1 gives everyone a look at the leading publisher of assembly-line content

Demand Media, which produces 5700 new pieces of content daily, is teeing up to raise more than $100 million through an initial public offering. 

It was widely expected to happen soon. See my interview with CEO and co-founder Richard Rosenblatt: Demand Media's IPO ambitions

Demand, a new media company that thrives on demand-based content generation driven primarily by what people are searching for, just today filed its S-1.

The main bankers behind the deal include Goldman Sachs as the lead, and then Morgan Stanley. Other partners in the syndicate include UBS, Allen & Co., Jefferies & Co., Stifel Nicolaus, RBC and Pacific Crest.

The takeaway from the S-1: The company has $33 million in cash, is "almost" breakeven, and could see revenue growth in the 15% to 20% range this year should the second half of 2010 improve (which it typically does for the advertising industry).

Of the $198 million in sales generated in 2009, 41% came from advertising on its own sites, eHow, Cracked, Livestrong, to name a few, as well as its network of sites. On those sales, Demand produced a net loss of $22 million and an operating loss of $18 million.

In the first six months of this year, the company generated $114 million in revenue and posted a net loss of $6 million and operating loss of $4 million, in the same period. 

Of the revenue generated in the first six months of 2010, 42% came from its registrar business, down from 46% in all of 2009.

Some interesting highlights:

1) Revenue grew 16% in 2009

2) Revenue per thousand pages (RPM) is $11.81 during the first half of 2010, up from $10.03 for the same period a year ago.

3) 21% of revenue comes from eHow during the first six months of 2010

4) Demand generates 5700 pieces of original content (articles or video) daily. They currently have a library of 2 million articles and 200,000 videos

5) Generates 3.9 billion pageviews from its owned and operated properties vs 5.8 billion pageviews from its network of customer Web sites

Here's a video with Richard talking about the company's business.

(Full disclosure: Richard Rosenblatt is an investor in Vator)


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Bambi Francisco Roizen

Founder and CEO of Vator, a media and research firm for entrepreneurs and investors; Managing Director of Vator Health Fund; Co-Founder of Invent Health; Author and award-winning journalist.

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