ContentNext, the media company founded by tech reporter-turned-CEO Rafat Ali, sold to Guardian News & Media for a reported $30 million. ContentNext’s major property is PaidContent.org, a Web site devoted to “the economics of content.”
According to a story posted on PaidContent, ContentNext will continue to exist as a standalone company under GNM, which also publishes the Observer and the Guardian, along with an American version of Guardian.co.uk.
In 2006 Alan Patricof’s Greycroft Partners invested an undisclosed sum in Ali’s company.
In a So What Do You Do? interview published on mediabistro.com last March, Ali hinted at the future:
We don’t have an exit strategy. I’ll tell you that right up front. If two years down the line someone says, “We want to buy your company,” we’ll be in a position to have that discussion. Our company should be in good enough shape that we’re ready to flip the switch if we need to. I know this sounds vague, but even before Alan [Patricof] invested, we went through a round of talks with various media companies. Three or four companies you can probably think of wanted to buy us, and we had first-round talks with each of them. I realized that we were nowhere even close to being in a shape to sell the company. I decided we’re not going to sell the company; we’re going to make an investment: Let’s build the company into a real one.