Photo: Michael Seto
Gawker Media, the online-publishing network behind Deadspin and Gizmodo, is making aggressive moves to grow its international business, according to its CEO and founder, Nick Denton.It recently acquired a small site similar to Gawker but focused on the U.S. Hispanic market called Guanabee.
Guanabee Media’s founder, Daniel Mauser, is already working for Gawker and he’ll be running Gizmodo en Español.
The goal is to take international revenues from 5% to 20% of the company’s total in the next five years.
Gizmodo, a site focused on gadgets and tech culture, is Gawker’s most popular site, with 9 million monthly unique visitors and 100 million pageviews. About one-third of its traffic is international.
In addition, Gawker is launching a native-language site in Hungary, where it has the bulk of its engineering operation. It’s also hiring producers for the Budapest office and Denton says he’s close to a deal in India with a local partner to expand Gawker’s presence there.
Gawker has previously relied on partners who have syndicated or translated Gawker content and sold ads locally, like NetMediaEurope and Australia’s Allure Media.
Denton says the goal of the Guanabee acquisition was to accelerate growth in Latin America and obtain the services of Mauser. Guanabee and Gawker have been longtime advertising partners.
Denton didn’t say the terms of the deal, only that it wasn’t “financially material” to Gawker.
Gawker’s only previous acquisition, the 2010 deal to buy a New York-focused site, Cityfile, was disappointing. Its founder, Remy Stern, served as Gawker.com’s editor-in-chief until he left in late 2011. Cityfile is not active today.
But rather than bolster Gawker’s New York cred, Denton is chasing what he feels is a big growth opportunity abroad.
“About one-third of our traffic is international—and with those sites operated by our partners, that would rise closer to a half,” says Denton. ‘We see quite a bit of growth coming from international—I’d expect it would quadruple as proportion of total.”
Gawker Media has 180 employees, 40 whom are international. The network has about 35 million monthly unique visitors and serves up 560 million monthly pageviews.
Gawker is the high-brow gossip sheet covering media, entertainment, politics and technology.