From time to time, I have shared with you the steps we’re taking to build Giga Omni Media, the 27-month-old company behind this and the other publications that make up the GigaOM network. Today, I am thrilled to announce the start of our company’s next phase.
We have just raised $4.5 million, led by new investor Alloy Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm with over $1 billion under management. True Ventures, our primary investors thus far, also participated in the round. The round was blessed by our angel investors, Rakesh Mathur, Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman as well. As part of the funding, Alloy Ventures general partner Ammar Hanafi will join the Giga Omni Media board.
We are going to use this new investment prudently, to enhance our technology platform and content offerings, add to our current portfolio of publications and expand our Events and Briefings businesses. We are in investing for the long-term — in ourselves.
I got to know Ammar when he was heading up corporate business development at Cisco Systems (read: V-P of the merger & acquisitions business.) As part of my job as a telecom reporter for Red Herring, I would hound him for information, often when there was none to be had. We stayed in touch periodically as our careers progressed before eventually losing touch.
Then earlier this summer, we reconnected through CEO Paul Walborsky. Our conversation quickly turned once again to my quest for clear and accurate information, but this time in relation to how I had made it the core quality around which our online media company was built. Soon we were discussing the possibility of Alloy becoming an investor.
The shift of audiences and ad dollars to online media from more traditional mediums has been significant on many levels, not least of which has been how it’s created opportunities for new models such as ours. What hasn’t changed is a desire on the part of business and technology audiences for in-depth, insightful coverage, which is what we are committed to providing.
Macro trends of our industry aside, the reason Alloy Ventures and True Ventures invested in our company is because there are lots of little things that need to happen before crazy ideas become a living, growing business. Sure we didn’t have an auspicious start to 2008, but we together overcame that little hiccup and my team has achieved a huge amount this year, among them:
- We are now providing content to a number of prominent media sites, including CNNMoney.com, Businessweek.com and NYTimes.com.
- We hosted two sold-out conferences, Structure and Mobilize. (And we are getting ready for NewTeeVee Live for 2008.)
- We acquired jkOntheRun.
- We acquired TheAppleBlog.
- We appointed Paul Walborsky CEO of the company.
- We named Carolyn Pritchard as the managing editor of our network. Our network now has seven sites: GigaOM, WebWorkerDaily, NewTeeVee, OStatic, Earth2Tech, jkOnTheRun and TheAppleBlog.
- We have doubled the number of visitors to our sites. We launched two experiments –- NewTeeVee Station and GigaOM Daily.
As the company grows, I try to reflect on the job done so far and the road ahead. We have come so far on so little, mostly by being frugal and having a realist’s view of the world. The whiplash-inducing bad winds that are plaguing the overall economy will cast a pall on Silicon Valley in general and online media as well. So it’s nice to have the ability to grow even in the face of adversity, whether organically or through acquisitions. Before I go back to work, please join me in welcoming Ammar to our family.
More importantly, dear readers, please accept my extreme gratitude for your support — through good times and bad times, for without you it would not have been possible. Thank you.