Federated Media, the high-profile blog ad network founded and run by John Battelle, has hired investment bank Savvian, potentially to look for more funding, and maybe a sale for the right price, we have learned. We reported on the same lines in October, but FM shot down any sale intentions then.
A source close to the company says the bank will mainly be used to vet numerous incoming queries — not to solicit buyers or investors. Another source, this one among the interested parties, says that FM is indeed looking to raise as much as $50 million, and the valuation is in the $125 million pre-money range. The thinking: good to raise money now for leverage while the going is good, even though technically the company doesn’t need money. I’m split on who to believe, and Battelle declined comment when contacted.
The company sells text and video ads across a number of blogs in different categories, and has started getting into events as well. It has raised two rounds of funding, the second for $4.5 million. Investors till now include JPMorgan Partners, Omidyar Network, The New York Times (NYSE: NYT) and individuals such as Mitchell Kapor, Andrew Anker, Mike Homer, and Tim O