Hearst Interactive will buy New York-based UGO Networks, an “online entertainment playground for people with ‘Gamer DNA.'” Erika Brown of Forbes puts the purchase price at $100 million and tells the decade-long saga of the UGO founders, who endured multiple business-plan changes, restructurings, evictions, and a VC “cram down” (they get 5x-their-money before you get a cent), but eventually fought their way to the finish line.
According to Brown, the nine-year old UGO currently generates $30 million in revenue and $6 million in EBITDA. It attracts 11 million uniques a month in the U.S. and 28 million worldwide. Zelnick Media was an investor.
Hearst Interactive has a portfolio of strategic investments in emerging media and interactive technologies. Since 1995, Hearst has invested in over 45 companies, including iVillage, Netscape, XM Satellite Radio, Broadcast.com, Exodus, Sling Media and Brightcove.