We fully acquire online publishers at fixed earnings multiples and apply our advertising network. Acquisitions are done in stages to de-risk market volatility and operators are incentivized to grow the business during an option period, with help from our management team. Advisory and growth services are offered gratis.
As the portfolio expands both publishers and advertisers benefit from the network effect. By pairing the publishers with the top marketers and advertisers of the digital era, we can grow together.
What We Look For
Our acquisitions must meet minimum monthly visitor criteria and be profitable. We look for established companies that have a unique competitive advantage and smart entrepreneurs that are excited to grow the business. We do not acquire pre-revenue companies. We ask, what is this company the best at? What could they be the best at? Then put the strategy in place to get them there.
There are a few different ways to assess the value of a company. First, a discounted cash flow can be applied whereby the company’s future free cash flow is projected. The cash flows are discounted and a required rate of return is factored in. The present value of the company is determined using this method. DCF is more often used to value mature companies whereby cash flow and expected rate of return are established. The downside of DCF is straight line projections do not consider the cyclical nature of businesses and the inputs can be highly subjective.
In private equity, it’s more common to value using earnings multiples. We look at comparables to determine the multiple. We multiply the trailing 12 months earnings to determine the value of the business. The multiple represents future growth. Assets are already priced into the earnings, so no asset can be doubled counted. For example, if a business has $1M in earnings, we may assign a 3x multiple and value the business at $3M. One time expenses that do not affect earnings may be added back.
When we purchase a business, the deal is typically structured as an option to purchase as an asset sale. Asset sales have several advantages over equity sales, chiefly:
- Simple transaction with less paperwork
- Potential tax savings for buyer and seller (intangible goods and stepped up depreciation)
- No-cash no-debt, whereby seller can keep the cash in the bank account
- Liabilities are left behind
The option period allows the seller to get paid for the diligence period. Typically brokers do not provide any compensation for this work. Further the seller benefits from our growth services and network that can increase the value of the company prior to the sale. The knowledge and connections established through our advisory carries over to future ventures.
Our founders are thought leaders and authorities in the digital marketing space. Through innovative monetization and customer acquisition strategies we grow assets in the portfolio.
Publishing new, high quality content is the pillar that holds up any digital marketing strategy. We specialize in building and scaling content teams for digital media publishers. Using our systems, we’ve published 1M+ words per month. With our proprietary keyword research tools and content delivery processes, we’re able to create content that attracts links, social shares, and organic search visitors.
Search Engine Optimization
For most online businesses Google is the #1 source of visitors. A proper search engine optimization strategy starts with a full technical audit. After this we move into on-page optimization, which includes content auditing and click through rate optimization.
Our team has extensive background in SEO. Neil Patel is a leading authority and consulted on search engine and marketing strategies for Fortune 500 Companies including Microsoft, NBC, and even Google themselves! Hayden Miyamoto along with his team has pioneered new keyword research and backlinking techniques. He created the keyword difficulty formula for one of the original keyword research tools.
Bringing websites up the value chain is one of the quickest ways to increase revenue. We have a number of monetization partners including:
- Direct Advertisers
- Services Including:
- Application Development Agencies
- ICO Advisory Services
- KYC/AML Affiliates
- Subscription products
- Social Media & Telegram Support Services
Conversion Rate Optimization
CRO is universally applicable to any website, allowing one to increase sales regardless of traffic. The process begins by gathering data from the website and users. A full Google Analytics audit is conducted to establish a baseline for user performance metrics and identify potential problem areas. We collect heatmap and clickmap data using CrazyEgg (a tool founded by Neil Patel). From here we identify and fix technical usability problems such as mobile optimization, speed issues, and broken links. Next, we form hypotheses and design split tests to increase conversion rates. The winning design is tested against the control. Using statistical analysis, we validate the test and ultimately increase revenue.
The Diligence Process
The process starts by filtering prospects based on traffic and niche relevance. We qualify sellers on the phone. Those that pass provide a questionnaire, analytics, and financial statements. Our proprietary risk calculator grades each business with input from analytics, real financial data, and character assessments with 100+ data points. The investment committee and growth team reviews each deal before making an offer. We issue a letter of intent with the offer and conduct full financial and legal diligence before investing.
One of the biggest risks for online businesses is the potential for a Google Penalty or Update. We target businesses who provide quality information, resources and tools to their audience. We have a diversified traffic approach to mitigate risk from search engine updates and algorithm changes.
A thorough trademark, lien, and lawsuit search is conducted by our team of attorneys. We leave liabilities behind and create escrow agreements for unknown future liabilities to greatly decrease our exposure to unforeseen liabilities.
Media Block prefers acquiring businesses in the United States to mitigate location risk, though we are open to acquire assets in other locations that are tax and cryptocurrency friendly.
We prefer to acquire websites with diversified income. Websites with a single page accounting for more than 30% of income or one monetization channel are typically disqualified.