Fatherly Gets Scooped Up by Some Spider Studios

The deal helps 'lock up the dad space'

Fatherly and Some Spider Studios logos
Fatherly and Some Spider Studios are combining forces. Sources: Fatherly, Some Spider Studios

Just as the U.S. was beginning to react to the spread of the coronavirus, two media companies were putting the finishing touches on a merger. On Thursday, Some Spider Studios acquired Fatherly, a digital website geared toward dads, creating a portfolio of media companies that effectively “lock up the dad space,” said Vinit Bharara, founder and CEO of Some Spider Studios, which already includes Scary Mommy and The Dad.

“Many before have focused too much on one aspect, just focus on pregnancy or moms instead of dads,” Bharara said. “Our view is the market is so large holistically.”

Financial terms of the all stock deal were not disclosed. The new deal was announced after a year in which many other media organizations went through mergers and acquisitions.

The two companies have discussed merging for months, but it came to fruition just as COVID-19 began making ripples throughout the industry and the world.

“Even though the rest of the world got a bit rocky, we were committed to this idea that … in a long-term journey, there’s going to be disruption,” said Michael Rothman, CEO and co-founder of Fatherly. “And this put that conviction to test.”

Rothman will stay on as CEO of Fatherly and join Some Spider Studios as evp, as will “the majority” of Fatherly staffers, Bharara said.

Last year, the combined revenues of the two companies reached $35 million, Bharara said, and he hopes to get close to $50 million with Fatherly this year. More mergers and acquisitions may be on the horizon, said Rothman, who sees “lots of opportunity to play in this space.”

The companies will combine workspaces in Some Spider Studio’s offices in New York, Bharara said. Despite the shared resources, Fatherly will retain its own unique voice.

“We’re not trying to merge everything and water it down. It’s really important to keep that special sauce continuing,” Bharara said.

The law and political-based audio company Cafe was previously part of the portfolio but was spun off as its own company in conjunction with the merger, Bharara said, putting his brother, Preet Bharara, former Former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, in charge.

@SaraJerde sara.jerde@adweek.com Sara Jerde is publishing editor at Adweek, where she covers traditional and digital publishers’ business models. She also oversees political coverage ahead of the 2020 election.