Business Insider is in the process of a venture financing round of around $10 million, Fox Business has confirmed. This would be the sixth round for business blog, and would bring the total funding to under $30 million, dating back to a seed round in 2008.
FOX Business previously reported that Business Insider had acquisition talks with AOL in late 2013. Discussions were in the $100 million to $150 million range, but did not pan out.
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It was reported that existing investors like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Institutional Venture Partners and RRE Ventures would be participating. Other prior investors include Marc Andreessen, Allen & Company, Kohlberg Ventures, Pilot Group, Ken Lerer and Gordon Crovitz.
Business Insider is using the capital to grow the business, hoping for a better valuation when they ultimately decide to sell. A source says it is still unclear what price they will be looking for, but that they would possibly sell the company for $250 million.
It may be hard to find a buyer at that price, however. Business Insider only recently became profitable, with less than $20 million in revenues. Investor Jeff Bezos, recently bought the Washington Post-- one of journalism’s premier brand names -- for more than $250 million.
Yet those with knowledge of the situation say it’s possible that AOL will pursue Business Insider again. Says Doshi, it "wouldn't surprise me if they try to make another play for it." It's unclear what other buyers would have interest.
One thing that is clear is that Business Insider is not on track to IPO. “I wouldn't wish being a public company on anyone these days,” chief executive Henry Blodget told FOX Business recently. “It's an expensive, time-consuming hassle. And it pushes you to make dumb decisions to appease short-term traders who couldn't care less about your product, customers, or team.”
Neil Doshi, analyst at CRT Capital, says it “wouldn’t surprise me if they try to make another play for it.”
Business Insider, formerly Silicon Alley Insider, was founded in 2007. According to Alexa data, BusinessInsider.com achieves more global traffic than traditional business media companies like theFinancial Times and Bloomberg, but less than The Wall Street Journal.
Correction: A previous version of the story said that Business Insider raised $15 million.