- BuzzFeed announced a SPAC deal on Thursday at a $1.5 billion valuation.
- The digital publisher is acquiring Complex Networks.
- Here are the most interesting slides from BuzzFeed’s investor deck.
The publisher, which says its implied valuation will be $1.5 billion once the deal closes, also plans to acquire style and sports-focused Complex Networks for $300 million in cash and stock.
Alongside announcing the deal, BuzzFeed published an investor deck that looks under the hood of the private company for the first time. Here are the key slides.
We now know BuzzFeed’s financials. The company generated $421 million in revenue last year, and it expects to bring in $521 million this year. It reported $17 million in adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) last year, and expects that to rise to $57 million in 2021.
The transaction is set to give BuzzFeed an implied valuation of $1.5 billion, representing 2.3x the company’s expected revenue in 2022 of $654 million. The figure is below BuzzFeed’s peak valuation of $1.7 billion in 2016, Recode reported at the time.
CEO Jonah Peretti has long been outspoken about his hopes to roll up more digital media companies into a giant that can better take on the tech platforms. In his note to BuzzFeed staffers on Thursday, Peretti wrote, “We’ll have even more opportunity and public stock as a currency to help us pursue attractive acquisitions.” According to its investor deck, BuzzFeed is on the hunt for “influential, iconic brands.”
Once known as the champion of “branded content,” the makeup of BuzzFeed’s revenue has changed significantly as it has sought to diversify in a challenging ad market. Commerce, for instance, made up just 13% of the business in 2020, but by 2024 BuzzFeed anticipates it will be 31% of the company’s revenue.
According to BuzzFeed, investors should compare the company with a rather diverse range of competitors: Zynga, Etsy, Taboola, IAC, and The New York Times.
Existing BuzzFeed shareholders are expected to retain 72.5% of the company, with Complex shareholders retaining 5.9%.
It’s been a long road for BuzzFeed, which was founded in 2006 and quickly became a digital media darling before facing a series of setbacks and rounds of layoffs. In 2012, it launched its newsroom. In 2015 and 2016, NBCUniversal poured in $400 million of investment. As part of its acquisition of HuffPost, which closed this year, Verizon became a minority shareholder.
The author of this story previously worked at BuzzFeed News.