PopSugar acquired by Group Nine Media

Published on October 9, 2019

Group Nine Media acquired the women’s lifestyle brand and publication POPSUGAR. The deal was made completely through stocks that valued POPSUGAR over $300 million according to The Wall Street Journal.

The CEO of Group Nine, Ben Lerer, said that the PopSugar acquisition is part of a bigger goal to “create a model for the next-generation.” All the different publications will reach hundreds of millions more social media followers. And POPSUGAR has raised Group Nine’s worth to about $1 billion.

“When we started Group Nine almost three years ago by combining Thrillist, NowThis, The Dodo, and Seeker, we foresaw the impending consolidation of the industry and set out to create a model for the next-generation media company with significant scale, deeply loyal and engaged audiences, multiplatform expertise, and highly diversified revenue. POPSUGAR hugely expands our reach within an important demographic, bringing us a community that deeply loves the POPSUGAR  brand and a company with the proven ability to diversify their revenue across premium advertising, affiliate, direct-to-consumer commerce, licensing, and experiential channels.”

About Group Nine

Group Nine Media is the parent company of four different other publications:

  • The Dodo: writes articles about animals to help them get adopted.
  • Seeker: focuses on innovative tech
  • Thrillist: online media that focuses on food, drinks and entertainment
  • NowThis: focuses on progressive news media.

According to Fast Company, Group Nine Media’s different sites get a lot of attention. Together, they get over five billion video views a month and 40 million unique views every day. The acquisition of POPSUGAR solidifies Group Nine Media as a source for all kinds of information.

Group Nine Media knows how to make money. It has raised millions of dollars according to The New York Times. Earlier this year, Group Nine raised $50 million from Discovery Inc. Axel Springer SE, a digital publisher in Europe, has also invested $40 million dollars.


Surprisingly, it all started out as a blog. POPSUGAR was founded in 2006 by Lisa and Brian Sugar. It grew out of Lisa Sugar’s love of blogging about celebrity gossip. When the couple decided to turn this hobby into a business, Lisa Sugar became the editor-in-chief while her husband took the CEO role. Since then, POPSUGAR has definitely branched out. Now, it includes shopping service, a beauty brand, a clothing line and more. Last year, Kohl’s department stores began selling clothes under the POPSUGAR brand.

Under this new deal with Group Nine Media, The Sugars will now be members of the Group Nine executive team. In addition, Brian Sugar will also join Group Nine’s board of directors. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lisa Sugar is excited about the merger.

“We’ve built PopSugar to be a welcoming voice that resonates with all women across all of her passion points,” said Lisa Sugar, who serves as the company’s president. “The Group Nine brands share a similar passionate connection with their audiences as well as an ethos of optimism and action that truly excites me as we become part of the Group Nine portfolio.”

Presently, a bunch of other acquisitions are happening. Vice just agreed to acquire the publication Refinery29 and Vox Media just acquired the company that owns New York Magazine.

Kori Williams is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in New York, she covers events, social-media news, apps, and New York brands. She loves grammar and aims to use her voice to help others.

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