In late 2014, Vox Media, an American digital media company with several editorial brands such as Eater and The Verge, announced that it had raised $46.5 million from General Atlantic, putting the company at a valuation of $380 million. Ezra Klein, who left a high-profile position at The Washington Post, became the founder of Vox Media’s newest website, simply named Vox. Klein was looking to create a new type of journalism that was all about content management.
“We were badly held back not just by the technology, but by the culture of journalism,” he stated back when his website launched in early 2014. Vox Media, says Klein, had what he was looking for. “At our first meeting, we knew we were going here. They had the technology we thought we were inventing.”
Many in the world of business are still skeptical about how online media can still be profitable against a juggernaut like print and television media. However the results of how these news organizations, such as BuzzFeed which raised $50 million at a reported $850 valuation, and Reddit which closed on a $50 million deal, are being said to be “prime examples of what we call a ‘full stack startup’” according to Chris Dixon of BuzzFeed.
What’s important to note with all of these companies is that they aren’t just about “click-bait” articles. These online media sources are investing and creating technology that changes how we consume information, and learning how to monetize it. With its Chief Executive Jim Bankoff making no secret to build Vox Media into a viable competitor against other media companies, it’s an ambitious project to undertake.
What Vox is creating is unique, with its latest content-management system known as Chorus that looks to make it easier for writers to create their content and posts, as well as word-recognition software that allows for quicker comment moderation. In an online world where reader comments and engagement is key, this is a huge step forward within the world of media and tech. With support from investment firms such as General Atlantic, which has prominent names like Chris Lanning and Anton Levy at the helm, look for Vox Media to continue to focus on several strategic initiatives to enhance its media brands, and create the technology to compete with the big dogs.