Friday, March 19, 2021

Media: "Vice was once worth $5.7B. It’s about to get a huge valuation haircut"

We still have Vice in one of the feedreaders, Buzzfeed, well when Buzzfeed pivoted from the Steele dossier to dildos it was hard to keep up. That said, we'll always treasure the Buzzfeed style guide and "The Wolf of Buzzfeed.

Lifted in toto from The Hustle, March 17

Vice and BuzzFeed will take valuation haircuts when they go public via SPACs. 

Before The Hustle became your favorite source of irreverent news coverage, there was Vice.

Founded as a free magazine in Montreal in 1994, Vice was one of the most visible new media brands over the past decade — it peaked at a $5.7B valuation following a big investment round that included Disney.

Today, Vice could be worth 75% less

The Information reports that Vice is looking to go public via a merger with a SPAC company called 890 Fifth Avenue Partners. Negotiations value the company’s equity at $1.4B, after debts are paid.

Its revenue reached ~$600m in 2020, barely up from the prior year.

However, Vice’s CEO Nancy Dubuc has improved the business by cutting costs, with annual losses declining from $100m to $20m.

The source of Vice’s pain is its business model…

… which made a large bet on (low-margin) TV and news production.

Rich Antoniello — the CEO of Complex — thinks Vice should have put its eggs into ecommerce and culture… like Complex did (think Hot Ones, the popular web show of people eating hot wings while being interviewed).

Another noteworthy media brand is also going the SPAC route: BuzzFeed is eyeing a market cap of $1.7B… which is only slightly lower than its current valuation, per The Information.

Our $0.02: The companies should merge into ViceFeed and become a Bitcoin holding company.

The Hustle/briefs

The Buzzfeed Style Guide

And from a 2017 post, The Wolf of Buzzfeed:

 I can't imagine what Andreessen Horowitz and NBC Universal are thinking about their BuzzFeed investments right now.

Maybe this will cheer them up:


Possibly also of interest:
Buzzfeed Story Generator