Vox Media, the parent company of SB Nation and The Verge, has acquired Lockhart Steele’s media network, Curbed for $US20 — 30 million.
Curbed was founded in 2005 by Steele who was the former managing editor of Gawker. Its flagship vertical covered real-estate. The network now also includes Racked (a style and retail publication) and Eater (a food and dining publication). There are 50 employees at Curbed Network.
One source says Curbed’s revenue is in the high single-digit millions. Steele and his co-founders will remain at Vox after the transition is complete; Steele will remain the network’s Editor-in-Chief. The acquisition is in the mid-$20 million range; the deal was a mix of cash and stock. Curbed Network only raised $US1.5 million in a 2007 angel round. Vox has raised about $US60 million.
When asked why he’s interested in a local play like Curbed, which is published in 32 cities, Vox CEO Jim Bankoff replied, “It’s not a local play. These are huge mainstream consumer categories: food/dining, home/real estate, style/retail are among the most popular cable networks and tv shows, magazines, etc …. yet who really owns the categories from a digital media perspective, especially among rich young adults online?”
Through the acquisition, Vox is now in six of the biggest consumer lifestyle categories, including sports, technology, dining and real-estate. Vox will continue to grow Curbed on the local level but it will also invest in national editions of its properties.
Bankoff and Steele will be on stage tomorrow at Business Insider’s annual Ignition conference to discuss the acquisition.