The pioneering technology site Mashable is being sold to publishing giant Ziff Davis, according to to the The Wall Street Journal.
The site, which has covered tech and tech-related stories since 2005, will be sold to the digital media company for around $50 million according to the report; far less than its valuation of $250m, from a funding round it raised in March last year.
The sale of Mashable comes after the publisher tried to secure additional funding throughout this year, according to the the paper’s sources. After failing to receive adequate interest, it sought instead an all-out sale starting a few months ago.
The WSJ report also claims that while a push towards video at the site initially increased revenue, it’s now on track to post a loss for 2017 – despite its millions of monthly visitors.
The news caused many to reflect on the site’s influence: “Worth pointing out: Mashable is still a great media startup story, started as a blog by a 19 year old in a small corner of Scotland, that became a cultural thing for a while,” tweeted Skift founder Rafat Ali. “That is still a big achievement beyond monetary returns.”
Cashmore started Mashable as a WordPress blog from his bedroom at his parents’ house in Banchory, Aberdeenshire, aged 19. The name “grew out of this idea of recombination, taking things that existed and putting them together,” he recalled.
Cashmore began covering how people were using the Web, how it was making an impact on their lives and how social media was changing the way we connect. At its height, the site had 45 million monthly unique visitors and 27 million social media followers. In 2015 it was reported that the site was for sale for more than $300m.