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DC-Based Vox Media Acquires Curbed and Eater Networks

Vox wanted content focusing on food, fashion, and real estate in addition to its sports and tech sites.

The entrance to the Vox Media offices on Connecticut Avenue. Photograph by Carol Ross Joynt.

Washington-based Vox Media significantly expanded its offering of lifestyle blogs yesterday with the acquisition of Curbed.com, which operates real estate, food, and fashion websites in nearly 30 cities. Vox paid between $20 million and $30 million for Curbed, Fortune reported.

“We want to be the leader in big consumer categories,” says Vox CEO Jim Bankoff, who has wanted to move the company’s content offerings into new fields.

Bankoff also says that New York-based Curbed was appealing for its young, affluent audience.

In addition to its flagship real estate site, Curbed includes restaurant news site Eater and fashion blog Racked. Each title has a national page in addition to subsidiary sites in major cities across the United States and Canada. Curbed was founded in 2004 by Lockhart Steele, who built it up while also working for Gawker Media. It now includes more than 50 individual sites split across the three brands.

Vox, founded in 2003 as Athletics Nation, operates SB Nation, a 300-site network of sports blogs; the Verge, a consumer technology website; and Polygon, which focuses on video games. The company has been growing rapidly and took in $40 million in a recent funding round.

Bankoff says Vox is going to focus on pumping up Curbed’s national sites with more video and the mix of short- and longform journalism that appears on Vox’s sites, though he says there will also be investments in the city editions. “The local sites serve a dual purpose where they’re bureaus for the national sites,” he says.

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