A while ago I wrote about how neglected the sports vertical was online, given the largest properties are mostly the same portals or online versions of old media sites that were launched in the late 1990s. It turns out another macho-content vertical is even more neglected– cars.
Quietly, a company called HighGear Media is building a pretty impressive business. It’s raised $12 million from top consumer Internet investors Accel and Greylock and the management team is riddled with ex-Yahoos. Similar to Bleacher Report‘s approach with sports, HighGear Media operates 100 different sites, staffed by more than 350 staff and freelance writers from around the world.
In January, the network of sites had four million unique visitors– growth of 36% year-over-year. That makes it one of the larger auto content sites, and sub-sites concentrating on green cars, electric cars and family cars are surging between 50% and 110% year-over-year.
CEO Matt Heist stopped by the studio to talk about why this vertical is still so wide open and how auto blogs are different than other content sites.