Gawker has sold a minority stake to Columbus Nova Technology Partners, The New York Times’ Ravi Somaiya reported Wednesday
Gawker founder Nick Denton told the Times that the goal of selling a minority stake of the company was to fund two things: Gawker’s growth into categories like ecommerce and video, and its ongoing lawsuit with wrestler Hulk Hogan.
Terms of the sale weren’t disclosed. The deal is a big move for Gawker, which had famously raised very little outside capital — the company has been largely bootstrapped by Denton since the early 2000s.
Last year, Denton told Business Insider he personally owned 50% of Gawker Media, but if you include a family trust that figure is more like 68% of the company. Overall, insiders own 90% of Gawker Media.
“Digital media is a serious business,” Denton told the Times. “This is not a blog collective any more.”
It’s been an interesting few months for Gawker. Over the summer, Denton decided to axe a controversial post, which caused a slew of writers and editors to part ways with the company. The company since pivoted to focus on politics, moving away from its initial editorial focus on reporting on New York and the media.
The Hulk Hogan lawsuit in question stems from a 2012 “highlights reel” Gawker published of a leaked sex tape featuring Hogan. He sued Gawker later in 2012. If Gawker is found guilty, it could be forced to pay as much as $100 million.
Last year, Gawker told the Times that the odds of having to seek outside investment to keep Gawker running because of the lawsuit (or as he calls it, a “disaster”) were one in ten.