Topix Gets Top Dollar

November 6th, 2006 | Categories: blogs, financing, social media, strategy, trends

Popular news aggregation site has announced a $15 million round of financing with investments coming from Gannett Co., Tribune Company, and the McClatchy Company. This Series B round of financing comes as the company continues to drive significant traffic.

Since launching in early 2004, the site has already snatched an Alexa rank of 1,261. Pretty respectable by most accounts. However, traffic at Topix has flattened out over the past year. Its rank has only risen by a couple hundred spots, a small percentage rise in comparison to the exponential gains of previous years.

The site pulls feeds from all over the net - news, blogs, entertainment, local/world, business, and sports. In addition, the site contains forums and a classified ads section. According to GigaOM (see link above), the site attracts 9 million unique visits a month.

The concept behind the site is not overly revolutionary or extravagant. Pulling feeds from other sources is nothing new. However, the manner and execution of Topix has been nothing short of brilliant. The interface is very intuitive and well laid out. Ads are cleanly and cleverly integrated into the content in a logical manner. The site is essentially a mass-aggregated, organized directory of news stories and blog posts, in a nutshell. Features such as local and comments take it one step beyond a simple ‘feed’.

Though I am not a regular user of the site, I have been known to visit on the occasion and I am a fan. Functionality is useful, but not over the top. In an age where content is king, quality articles and feeds rule the landscape.

I am a bit hesitant and leery of the amount of money raised. A $15 million round seems extremely high for an aggregated news site. What will Topix do with this equity injection? Such a large investment must mean big things are in the mix. Will Topix move to new mediums of news dissemination such as radio, TV, or print? Will it begin to spin-off niche news sites? Will the company simply build the current offering and integrate sophisticated functionality and features? For the time being, all we can do is speculate. But expect big things to come as the world continues to move toward a more democratic news dissemination system.


  1. John Koetsier Says:

    Interesting, isn’t it? A lot of money for marketing in today’s web 2.0 social media marketing world, you might think.

    On the other hand, I see it as a positive development in a world that I’m currently investing in, so that’s kind of cool. Maybe I can get CBS to invest.


  2. Aidan Says:

    Thanks for dropping by John.

    I definitely agree with you. Web 2.0 is an interesting landscape and there is a lot of money to be made. I am launching a web 2.0 Internet start-up soon and enjoy seeing these positive developments.


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