Follow the money, follow the money… the fabled advice from the cops that caught Al Capone (by tracking his tax returns)…
It’s great to see the (Big/Old) media titans continue to underwrite their shift to digital by chasing the widgets, tie-ups and halo’d start-ups. News from all corners on their money trail.
Firstly, a profile in the FT of private equity grandaddy Alan Patricof, founder of Apax. At his VC firmGreycroft, he has spotted the old guard buying their various ‘get out of jail’ cards in the form of early-stage hot digital ventures that add synergy to their existing platforms. Nice business there finding the talent to sell to the Murdoch, Diller, BBC, ITV, Conde Nast etc’s of this world.
The firm [Greycroft]’s second investment, Pump Audio, is an online service that allows independent musicians to license their songs for television, advertisements and other commercial uses. Greycroft led a $2.5m fundraising round for the company in 2006. A year later, it was sold to Getty Images for $42m. “We didn’t sell it – they bought it,” Mr Patricof explained. “They came and wanted to buy it.”
Disney began buzzing around another Greycroft venture, DigiSynd, just eight months after it was founded. It ended up buying the online video company earlier this year. At a price believed to be about $20m, Mr Patricof opted to delay the closing of the sale by two months so that Greycroft could avoid paying short-term capital gains taxes.
Check Greycroft’s site for other investments including blog supremos The Huffington Post. One to watch.
(ps. How come the FT’s web copy doesn’t put in the useful click-thru links… you can thank yours truly here for giving you the hypertext experience… conclusion = FT is behind the Nu-Media curve?)