Tsavo Media, the online media rollup just started by former Userplane CEO Mike Jones with backing from private equity fund American Capital, is acquiring select assets MoxyMedia, the Canada-based online media firm with a portfolio of about 300 different online publishing sites. The MoxyMedia model is somewhat similar to, say, Demand Media; Moxy has sites such as Kidica.com, Thinkfashion.com and Tastelife.com, all with a layer of content and then monetized by contextual ads from *Yahoo* Search in this case.
Moxy has an interesting background: it was spun off late last year from Geosign, also backed by American Capital to the tune of $160 million. Geosign went sour quickly after its funding in 2007, laid off a big chunk of its employees and split into two, one of which was MoxyMedia. With the split, American Capital apparently got a chunk of its cash back from Geosign, which may be what they’re using to back Tsavo and its takeover of Moxy.
The affable Jones left Santa Monica-based Userplane last month but remains a part-time adviser to parent AOL (NYSE: TWX). Tsavo, also based in Santa Monica, has hired Nate Thelen, co-founder of Userplane, as CTO, and Mike Macadaan, former AOL’s VP of design, as VP of product. Tsavo likely will make some more related acquisitions in the consumer media space. In a recent interview with Social Networking Watch, Jones described the mission in vague terms: “Our current focus is on a wide-reaching publishing network with niche vertical focus. Overall we are viewing it from the standpoint that Tsavo will be a multi URL network across a whole series of verticals.”