The biggest step till now was me deciding to go full time with the blog, back in early 2003. This tops that:
The news: ContentNext Media, the parent company of our three sites – paidContent.org, MocoNews.net and ContentSutra — has received its first round of investment from Alan Patricof’s new venture firm Greycroft Partners. The amount is not being disclosed.
ContentNext also recently brought on former Details magazine president and publisher Jeff Stern as a director and COO.
Alan, as most of you know, has helped define the venture-capital industry in the U.S., having helped provide early stage financing for companies such as Apple, AOL, New York Magazine, Audible, Cellular Communications, NTL, Office Depot, Harman Intl. and more recently Zinio, Handmark and The Newsmarket. He is a co-founder of Apax Partners, a private investment firm he started in 1969 that has now evolved into one of the largest PE firms with more than $20 billion under management and advice.
Greycroft is his vehicle for going back to his roots: investing in startups at the intersection of techology and media. Alan’s team approached me in January, and when I met him in New York later that month, within 20 minutes of us talking, he instinctively got it … the issues, the challenges, the opportunities … that’s what amazed me. Out of everyone hovering around us (and I really mean everyone), this made the most sense.
Our opportunity is to take some money, organize and solidify, choose the right partners, and expand/accelerate what we’re doing. In the end, keep our heads down and keep doing what we do best: write, report, bring the industry together to discuss and help them do business…in other words, keeping it real.
On the practical side: We’ll be hiring a journalist in NYC, starting our UK vertical, launching a redesign of all our sites, hiring more staff for operations and sales, bringing on interns, planning more industry mixers and developing conferences, starting our research arm, and more.
Alan’s presence, advice and hands-on help in growing our business will be invaluable. His rationale: “I think this is a unique opportunity for Greycroft because paidContent.org and MocoNews.net truly are the publications you need to read before you start your day if you are involved in or care about any aspect of new media. I’ve been an avid reader of the sites for some time and watched the company expand into areas such as job search and wireless applications despite having limited capital at its disposal. I look at blogs as the hyper-interactive magazines of the future, only with far greater ability to create communities and expand into new areas.
Rafat is a very talented individual who saw an opportunity, ran with it and is now on the verge of taking his business to the next level. We’re thrilled to now be a part of that.”
P.S.: Thanks again to our team: Staci and James, for sticking around this long and making us what we are; Sahad: thanks for taking the India thing this far; and recent additions Billy and Jeff; let’s stay hungry…
P.S.S.: Thanks to all of you…we exist because you read us and spend your time and money with us.