Mashable is selling itself for $50 million to an old school magazine publisher that tried to buy Gawker

Pete Cashmore of Mashable
Mashable founder Pete Cashmore Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images
  • Mashable is selling itself to old school magazine publisher Ziff Davis for $US50 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.
  • It’s a big cut from the company’s last valuation of around $US250 million in 2016.
  • Ziff Davis, owner of PC Magazine, tried and failed to buy Gawker Media last year.

Mashable has agreed to sell itself to the old school magazine published Ziff Davis for $US50 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.

That’s considerably less than Mashable’s most recent valuation of $US250 million in 2016, according to the WSJ (although Pitchbook pegs Mashable’s valuation at the time at $US200 million).

Mashable gained popularity as an early example of profitable digital media shortly after its founding in 2005. Its viral blog style spread quickly and easily on social media, making it a hit with advertisers looking for the easy-to-calculate readership metrics that Facebook and Twitter virality provided.

But as the company aged, it faced the same sluggish returns as many other digital media companies. Mashable laid off 30 employees last year as it made a pivot to video content, which often brings in high premiums from advertisers.

Ziff Davis, whose best known publication is PC Magazine, has been looking to acquire a strong digital brand for years. The 90-year-old publishing company was expected to buy Gawker Media for $US90 million in 2016, but got outbid by Univision, its current owner, at the last minute.

Mashable and Ziff Davis did not respond to requests for comment.