IT IS an unlikely empire which he started as a teenager in the bedroom of his parents’ Banchory home.
But now, the young Scot behind one of the world’s fastest growing media companies has unveiled a vast expansion drive after a multimillion pound venture capital.
Pete Cashmore, the founder and CEO of Mashable, has vowed to cement the firm’s place “among the new guard of 21st century media companies” having secured £11m from a conglomerate of investors led by Time Warner.
Thanks to the extraordinary success of the site, the 29 year-old has become one of Scotland’s richest men, with an estimated fortune of £60m.
Mashable started out as a one stop shop for consumers eager to learn more about the latest developments online, with news and features about tech and apps.
Set up in July 2015 as a WordPress blog by the former Banchory Academy pupil, it was an outlet to wax lyrical about stories that caught his eye in the burgeoning online world. One early post, for instance, enthused about Star Wars-branded Adidas trainers, which were “the coolest shoes ever,” according to then 19-year-old.
Over the years,however, the site has evolved and now covers issues such as climate change, business, culture and international news.
The past 12 months have seen Mashable record revenue growth of 45% and build its social media following to over 21 million people. The past ten years, according to Mr Cashmore, have been a whirlwind.
“Since I started Mashable as a teenager in Scotland, our goal has been to document the digital revolution,” he explained. “We speak for all those who believe that technology can change our lives for the better. And as this digital wave sweeps through every industry, our influence continues to expand.
“We are the storytellers of the digital generation. In 2015, we have a unique opportunity to pen media’s next chapter and cement Mashable’s place in digital history.”
Having moved into a new headquarters in New York and created new editorial teams in London, Los Angeles and Sydney, Mashable also launched a service for the Hispanic community in the US with El Pulso.
It has also developed a proprietary technology called Velocity, which predicts and tracks the viral life cycle of digital content, an application has been licenses to that to numerous media agencies.
The company’s growth, according to Mr Cashmore, has been achieved while “remaining lean, efficient and effective” in its operations, a factor which has led to the fresh wave of investment.
Three years ago, there was widespread speculation that a long-established media empire, CNN, was in talks with the Scot to buy the site for £127m. However, no deal was ever struck, and Mr Cashmore believes Mashable can now expand while remaining independent.
“In order to aggressively build upon this success in 2015, we felt the time was right to double down on our investment in key areas that will be integral to the long-term success of Mashable,” he explained.
“This funding only augments our already strong revenue base. With this round, we will continue to invest across the business.”
He added: “We’ve seen a massive transformation in the media industry over the past few years, with digital entities looking to match or surpass their traditional counterparts. With this transformation comes new leaders.
“This additional funding will allow Mashable to build upon the foundation we have developed over the last decade and capitalise on the enormous opportunity in the digital media industry. Our growth will be deliberate and strategic. We will always maintain our startup ethos even as we compete on a global scale.”
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