Earlier today, we posted an interview with Matt Heist, CEO of HighGear Media, an auto blog that hit four million uniques last month. That may not sound too jaw-dropping but gearheads are a surprisingly neglected online audience, and HighGear has proven a haven for car enthusiasts and the journalists that love to write for them.
Two of the Valley’s top venture funds certainly believe HighGear has something special– Accel and Greylock have invested $12 million in the quiet company. That strikes me as a lot of cash for a blog network, especially given the difficult margins and the relatively small valuations being paid for the few blogs that have exited. Huffington Post and Gawker are likely two of the only properties with valuations in the hundreds of millions.
So how does Heist expect to keep his investors happy? In part two of our sit down with him we asked just that, and he explains some of the unique characteristics of the vertical. He also talks about building an auto-content company while the American auto industry was crumbling. And, of course, we ask Heist what he drives and what he wishes he was driving.