In May, Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg sold their 18-month-old tech trade publication Recode to Vox Media for an undisclosed amount.
Sources familiar with the deal told Business Insider then that Recode was acquired in an all-stock transaction, worth between $US15 and $US20 million, with additional stock incentives for Recode’s executives.
That $US15-20 million figure was based on Vox Media’s November valuation of $US380 million.
It was perceived by the tech community as just an OK exit. Recode only had 3 million monthly unique visitors and it had raised $US10 million at a ~ $US28 million valuation at its onset, which is more than Vox paid for it. Media pundits were quick to poo-poo the deal, proclaiming “Kara Swisher has lost!”
Today, however, Mossberg and Swisher’s exit looks much better.
That’s because Vox Media is reportedly raising a new round of financing from NBC Universal that would value the company at $US850 million, making Swisher and Mossberg’s all-stock deal 2.2 times more valuable today than it was two months ago. So that $US15-20 million exit is more like $US30-40 milllion. The news of Vox’s fundraise was broken today by Swisher and her colleague Peter Kafka.
It’s still not a home run by most Silicon Valley standards, but if you think companies like Vox are the future CNNs and media conglomerates, there’s no reason that $US30 million exit can’t turn into a $US100 million+ one in a few years time.
Swisher declined to comment on Recode’s new improved price tag. But it’s easy to imagine she thought Vox’s valuation could soar later this year.