Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Vox Media Spends Some of Its Giant Funding Round on Lockhart Steele’s Curbed Network

Vox Media, the blog company that just raised a big funding round, is spending some of that money on another blog company: Vox, best known for its sports and tech sites, has bought Curbed Network, which is best known for its sites covering real estate and restaurants.

The transaction also includes a nice bit of symbolism: Lockhart Steele, Curbed’s CEO and founder, had an important role in New York’s early blog scene, and was a key player in the early days of Gawker Media, one of the most influential blog companies.

Now, Steele — along with the rest of his staff — is going to work for Vox, which is trying to build up a new blogging powerhouse, backed by many truckloads of venture money.

There’s not a lot of overlap between the two companies. Vox is best known for its SB Nation sports network and The Verge, the tech site built using the DNA from AOL’s Engadget staff. Curbed is best known for its Curbed sites, which serve up both real-estate porn and real-estate horror stories, and Eater, which focuses on restaurant news and food culture (that’s Steele and Momofuku genius David Chang up on the right). Vox said it intends to keep all of Curbed’s employees.

Vox, which announced a $34 million round last month, hasn’t disclosed a purchase price for Curbed, though I’m told that the deal included cash and stock. (Update: Fortune thinks the deal is worth up to $30 million. Second update: Everyone who has spoken to Vox Media head Jim Bankoff believes it is worth up to $30 million.) Perhaps that means a pleasant bump for Curbed’s angel investors, who started putting money into the company in 2007; they include NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson, Spark Capital’s Mo Koyfman and Gawker Media’s Nick Denton.

And, yes, that means Nick Denton could be making money from the sale of a blog network. Just not his own.

(Fish image courtesy of (Shutterstock/iadams); Steele image via Flickr.)

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