Group Nine’s Acquisition Of PopSugar: Details About The Deal You Should Know

By Amit Chowdhry ● October 10, 2019
  • Digital media company Group Nine recently announced that it acquired PopSugar. These are the details.

Group Nine — a digital media company formed by the merger of Thrillist, NowThis, The Dodo, and Seeker — announced it is acquiring women’s lifestyle media company PopSugar. The terms of the deal were undisclosed, but The Wall Street Journal reported that it was in the form of an all-stock transaction that valued PopSugar at more than $300 million.

PopSugar was launched by husband and wife team Brian Sugar and Lisa Sugar in 2006. Prior to the acquisition, PopSugar raised more than $40 million in funding from investors like NBCUniversal, Sequoia Capital, and IVP. And Group Nine Media secured about $190 million since the company launched in 2016 from investors like Axel Springer, Discovery, and Lerer Hippeau. Group Nine Media was founded by Ben Lerer.

Going forward, Brian Sugar and Lisa Sugar will be joining Group Nine’s executive team. And Sequoia Capital partner Michael Moritz is also joining the Group Nine board.

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“When we started Group Nine almost three years ago by combining Thrillist, NowThis, The Dodo, and Seeker, we foresaw the impending consolidation of the industry and set out to create a model for the next-generation media company with significant scale, deeply loyal and engaged audiences, multiplatform expertise, and highly diversified revenue. POPSUGAR hugely expands our reach within an important demographic, bringing us a community that deeply loves the POPSUGAR brand and a company with the proven ability to diversify their revenue across premium advertising, affiliate, direct-to-consumer commerce, licensing, and experiential channels,” said Lerer.

There were rumors that Group Nine Media had an interest in buying Refinery29. However, Vice Media ended up buying Refinery29.

Group Nine pointed out that with the acquisition of PopSugar, the company will now be reaching an audience of more than 200 million social media followers. PopSugar also has a commerce model established, including a quarterly subscription called Must Have Box along with the Glow marketplace for fitness content and merchandise.

“We’re a welcoming voice that resonates with all women across all of her passion points. That trust factor and strong brand identity has enabled us to expand into consumer products — like our Must Have subscription boxes, our Beauty by Popsugar line, and our RTW collection with Kohl’s — and has paved the way for our flagship festival, Popsugar Play/Ground. The Group Nine brands share a similar passionate connection with their audiences as well as an ethos of optimism and action that truly excites me as we become part of the Group Nine portfolio,” added Lisa Sugar.