As we had reported first in January, online publishing tools company Pluck was close to being bought out and now the company is making it official later today: it is being bought by Demand Media, the Santa Monica-based online domain and media company. The sale price is around
$50 million to $60 million $67 million, we have learned, on the lower end of what the company’s expectations were.
The Austin, TX-based company had investment from Reuters (NYSE: TRI), Mayfield and Austin Ventures, and had raised around $17 million in total VC funding since its 2003 inception. The company started as a consumer-facing RSS reader, but then moved to servicing publishers with various social media and syndication tools. It recently started powering social media tools on the redesigned USAToday.com, and recently announced a similar makeover for Guardian’s website.
Demand has raised about $350 million since inception..there has been some speculation about company filing for an IPO in a year or so, after a competitor Name Media filed its S-1 earlier this year.
Updated: I just spoke to Richard Rosenblatt, the CEO of Demand Media, who confirmed the acquisition, though he would not comment on the price. The Reuters range, my sources say, is low and the real price is around $67 million. Rosenblatt said that Puck fits into its strategy of taking Demand’s network growth off its own network, and helping publishers take those learnings and bake them into the tools. Pluck, which is based in Austin, TX, will remain there, and will be a big part of LiveStrong.com, the online health and wellness community website that Demand is building along with Lance Armstrong’s foundation. The comany has also begun powering social tools for company sites such as CircuitCity.com and Scotts.com, and that will continue to be a big push going ahead, Rosenblatt told me.
More details in the release, which is now out.
Disclaimer: Pluck is a sponsor of ContentNext Media, our parent company.