UGO Networks Finally Sells Itself (to Hearst)

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,, Exodus, Sling Media and Brightcove.

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