Glam Acquires Ning For Around $200 Million
Glam Media is a company that is considered a social content platform for websites that focuses primarily on women’s interests. Glam will be acquiring Ning.com, a website that allows you to easily create your own social network. Ning.com was co-founded by Silicon Valley Internet tycoon Marc Andreessen. The price is rumored to be about $200 million in cash, stock, or some combination. It is believed that Glam Media is going public soon so Ning is likely to have received a substantial amount of shares.
A couple of years ago, Ning was given a valuation of about $750 million. Venture capital companies have put in about $120 million into the company since they started in 2004. Investors include Andreessen himself, Reid Hoffman, Allen & Company, Legg Mason, and Lightspeed Ventures. Ning currently has 100,000 subscribers and 60 million monthly active users.
Below is the press release:
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GLAM MEDIA TO ACQUIRE NING, THE LEADING PLATFORM FOR CREATING SOCIAL NETWORKS AND OWNED BRAND FAN WEBSITES
Silicon Valley Pioneer Marc Andreessen to Join Glam Media’s Board of Directors
Acquisition Will Create One of the Largest Social Media Content Companies with over 240 Million Users & 100,000 Publishers — Creating the First Paid, Owned & Earned Media Platforms for Brands
Silicon Valley, CA — Sept 20, 2011 – Glam Media, Inc. (www.GlamMedia.com), the number one vertical social content platform company with the largest online global reach for women, today announced that it is acquiring Ning (www.ning.com), the leading online platform for building social websites, including more than 100,000 custom branded fan sites.
“Ning is the clear leader for creating custom social websites and communities. Acquiring Ning adds a natural extension to our social media platform, new distribution channels and a talented Silicon Valley team, all of which support our aim to connect brands with engaged, passionate audiences,” said Samir Arora, Chairman and CEO of Glam Media.
“With the addition of Ning, Glam Media will truly become the first next generation media company in the post-social world.”
Since launching the first social blog community in 2005, Glam Media has experienced tremendous success, growing from just seven publishers and 12 authors to more than 2,500 publishers and 4,000 authors globally today. The company has trusted relationships with more than 1,000 leading brand advertisers and is a Top 10 web property with more than 85 million monthly unique visitors in the U.S. and more than 200 million globally.
Combining Ning’s world-class technology and deeply engaging social platforms with Glam Media’s super premium advertising solutions and reach will accelerate the company’s vision of bringing brand marketers online by helping them to engage with passionate social communities across all digital mediums.
Glam Media together with Ning will set the standard for the future of media by providing their clients with the reach of portals, the deep connections and interests of Facebook, and the influence of trusted conversations.
“Social media is transforming the way brands are reaching their audiences. The Ning platform and its Network Creators, combined with the power of Glam’s advertising solutions, will ignite the delivery of our Brands+Social integrated programs at significant scale,” said Fernando Ruarte, CTO & EVP Platform & Products at Glam Media. “Together, Glam and Ning will address
important challenges that currently exist for marketers by enabling social media-activated brand campaigns to run in contextual environments that go beyond the few large social networking sites that exist today.”
Founded in 2004, Ning is the world’s largest custom platform for social communities and networks. The company has experienced explosive growth since it successfully moved to a subscription-based business model led by CEO Jason Rosenthal. Since 2010, Ning has increased the number of paying customers from 17,000 to more than 100,000 and grown its revenue by over 500 percent. Today, Ning has more than 100 million registered user social profiles and reaches more than 60 million monthly unique visitors. The company’s customers are the most active champions of brands, causes and organizations seeking to make an impact in the world using social media.
Ning makes it easy for brands of all sizes to build custom and powerful social brand fan pages and web sites as diverse as Linkin Park’s fan social network, Martha Stewart’s mentorship community, Scott Brown’s virtual campaign office and the collaborative hub for the Peace Corps. More than 50 percent of Ning sites are integrated with social applications such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+, which helps to amplify messages across each member’s social graph.
Ning will operate as a new business unit within Glam Media. Jason Rosenthal, Ning’s CEO, will join Glam as EVP Social Media & General Manager of Ning, and will be a member of the Glam Media executive team.
“Our passion at Ning has always been to make social and mobile core to every web experience, and to leverage the power of community to change the world
and drive value for customers,” said Jason Rosenthal, CEO of Ning. “Connecting our customers with super premium brand advertisers has been a core part of our vision from the earliest days of the company and joining with Glam Media — which shares our roots and belief in the power of social — delivers on that promise.”
Additionally, Marc Andreessen will join Glam Media’s board of directors, joining the top venture firm investors in Glam — Accel’s Thereisa Ranzetta and DFJ’s Tim Draper — as well as Co-Founder of Glam Media Fernando Ruarte, Dr. Marcel Reichart from print media leader Hubert Burda Media, and Glam Media Founder & Chairman Samir Arora. Marc is a Silicon Valley pioneer who created Mosaic, the first web-browser and was the co-founder of Netscape Communications. In 2009, Marc created the venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz, with Ben Horowitz that invests in leading edge technology companies. He currently serves on the boards of Facebook, HP, eBay and other leading technology companies.
“Glam Media is one of the most dynamic companies in the digital media space, and I am excited to help guide their further expansion,” said Marc
Andreessen. “With the fusion of Ning’s leadership and social networking technology, and Glam’s solid stake in the world of digital advertising, publishing and content creation, there’s no limit to where we can take the company.”
Platforms and Products for Brands and Publishers
Ning joins Glam Media’s suite of next-generation advertising, social, and content platforms, which include:
GlamAdapt — super premium ad serving platform
GlamMobile — full-scale mobile advertising, content and social platform
GlamCreate — content creation management platform
GlamEnable — content platform to enable mobile sites and applications
GlamConnect — first social networking platform for professional authors and bloggers
The acquisition of Ning will allow Glam Media to provide its 2,500 publishers and 4,000 authors with even more innovative ways to connect, create and broadcast authentic content across multiple mediums and social streams — all in one place. Glam publishers will be able to leverage new services that enable them to grow their audiences on desktop, mobile and video and increase frequency, leading to higher levels of engagement.
Additionally, Ning Creators running active online communities will have new opportunities on desktop and mobile devices to monetize their sites and grow successful businesses.