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Vox Buys Curbed Network For A Reported Stock-Cash Blend Worth $20-30 Million

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Vox Media, an online publisher of websites such as The Verge, has purchased the smaller Curbed network of websites for a reported $20 to $30 million according to the New York Times.

The Vox logo now graces the Curbed.com homepage. The deal was a combination of stock and cash, which is unsurprising given that the total deal size is almost commensurate with the recent $34 million that Vox Media raised; when equity can be used to conserve short-term capital, companies such as Vox that are quickly growing can prefer to hold onto their cash.

According to CrunchBase, Curbed has raised a vanishing $1.5 million in its life, making the deal a likely win for both its investors and its founding team.

As the Times rightly points out, the Curbed network (Curbed, Racked, and Eater) is smaller than the Vox network. Curbed commands around 35 million monthly pageviews from around the world each month, from just under 5.1 million unique visitors, according to Quantcast. The Vox Network by comparison attracts 177 million pageviews each month derived from 41 million unique visitors, also according to Quantcast.

Given the audience size discrepancy, it doesn’t seem likely that Vox is in the mix strictly for the pageviews. Instead, Curbed brings it deep into verticals where it has been light on both content, and staff. Vox has done well in its chief verticals (technology, sports, etc.), but to grow more quickly it could need new content silos already seeded, something that Curbed provides.

Vox now has publications that cover food, fashion, and local markets. This is a play for Vox to begin to spread its wings into content areas of national breadth. I don’t want to resort to the slightly tired analogy of The Huffington Post (Disclaimer: AOL, which owns TechCrunch, and so forth), but it seems that Vox has no intention of reducing the aggressive pace of its growth.

To date, the company has raised $57.5 million. It isn’t clear how much cash the company deployed in the deal, but Vox should retain a capital position sufficient to grant it latitude for both cash flow flexibility and space for more purchases.

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