The news business is going through a revival—or at least enough people with deep pockets think so.
Business Insider will be the next “new media” company to receive a hefty buyout offer from a wealthy benefactor, German publishing giant Axel Springer, reports Recode.
If the purchase goes through at the reported price, it would value Business Insider, launched in 2009, at about $560 million. That’s above Vox, but below Vice, Buzzfeed, and the Financial Times. Berlin-based Axel Springer nearly bought the latter, too, but in July was narrowly beat out by Japan’s Nikkei.
Business Insider makes money through a combination of sponsored content, events, and subscriptions to research. The company’s financials remain private, but it reportedly generated about $20 million in revenue in 2013.
Some might believe that these funding rounds and purchases show renewed faith among investors in media. Buzzfeed’s revenue grew from $4.1 million in 2011 to $46.2 million in the first half of 2014 alone, though the company still operates at a loss.
But other web-based publications have met abrupt, unceremonious ends even after raising venture capital. In June, Recode sold to Vox in an all-stock transaction in a pre-emptive move to stop burning through the $10 million it had raised from NBCUniversal and Windsor Media. Two months before that, Gigaom, a popular blog in the tech industry, shut down abruptly after failing to pay back its creditors. The company had raised $40 million in equity and debt.