Eager to expand its sales team and continue its momentum, sports blog network SB Nation has raised another $10.5 million in a third round of funding. CEO Jim Bankoff confirmed the round, which was led by Khosla Ventures. Previous investors Accel Partners and Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) Interactive Capital also took part.
The network started in 2003 as AthleticsNation.com, co-founded by Tyler Bleszinski (currently editorial director) and Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas Zuniga. Former AOL (NYSE: AOL) content head Bankoff moved from advisor to CEO in late 2008; the company raised its first $5 million the following January and added $8 million that summer on a $30 million valuation. The new round was first reported by AllThingsD. My understanding is this valuation is at least $60 million and could be as high as $90 million.
Bankoff wouldn’t talk valuation but via a chat on AIM told paidContent: “We plan to use the money to grow out our network … investing in our writers and our proprietary tech platform, which we feel is among the best in the content business as well as our sales team.” They’ll expand the sales team, led by *MySpace* vet Dave Borstein. The direct sales efforts ramped up this year after relying on third-party networks like Glam and Federated Media and has the startup near break even.
SB Nation is up to nearly 300 sites with 410 paid writers.