High Gear Media Raises $5.5 Million

High Gear Media, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based publisher of automotive digital media, has raised $5.5 million in Series B funding. DAG Ventures led the round, and was joined yb return backers Accel Partners and Greylock Partners. The company previously raised a $6.5 million Series A round in November 2007.

PRESS RELEASE
High Gear Media (www.highgearmedia.com), a publisher of automotive digital media, announced today it has completed a $5.5 million Series B funding round that brings the company’s total capital raised to $12 million. DAG Ventures, a new investor, led the round and existing investors Accel Partners and Greylock Partners also participated. The company’s Series A funding of $6.5 Million closed in November 2007.

The funds will be used for further expansion of High Gear Media’s technology platform and strategic acquisitions to accelerate the growth of its network of owned and operated websites.

In the last nine months, High Gear Media has experienced rapid expansion with the launch of 38 owned and operated auto websites including TheCarConnection.com, GreenCarReports.com, AllCarsElectric.com and AllAboutPrius.com. Traffic and revenue have grown substantially in the first half of 2009 and the company expects to be profitable with this round of financing.

“We see significant opportunity for High Gear Media and are pleased to be investing in a fast-growing automotive digital media publishing company,” said Nick Pianim, managing director, DAG Ventures. “They have expanded their market reach through a network of partnerships, and they are rapidly building out websites using their unique technology platform. More importantly, the company is creating scalable and valuable advertising inventory in a substantial vertical with great demand, despite the current market environment.”

High Gear Media is the largest owned and operated network of automotive websites targeting car buyers and auto enthusiasts by lifestyle, interest and vehicle. The 38 sites each combine aggregated automotive content from around the web with High Gear Media’s own expert editorial reviews, news and opinions. The sites also integrate video, photos and social media features using Twitter and Facebook, making it easy for users to access relevant and rich automotive content in one place. Companies syndicating content from High Gear Media’s 38 owned and operated automotive websites include Yahoo! Autos, HuffingtonPost.com, FoxNews.com, NBCAutoShow.com, Business Insider, Oodle, The San Francisco Chronicle and Glam Media, among others.

“We bring together a powerful technology platform, editorial expertise and a unique model of publishing multiple automotive media sites to address every interest and lifestyle,” said Hesky Kutscher, High Gear Media’s co-founder and CEO. “We’re building a valuable product for our users, advertisers and content syndication partners and the additional capital will allow us to continue to innovate and expand.”

About High Gear Media
High Gear Media is a next generation media company building a network of owned-and-operated websites for car consumers targeting their interests and lifestyle. Its flagship website, TheCarConnection.com, gathers the automotive reviews and articles from around the web and adds its expert editors’ analysis and advice. High Gear Media has 38 sites in the network, including GreenCarReports.com, AllAboutPrius.com, AllCarsElectric.com and MustangBlog.com. Companies using High Gear Media’s automotive content include Yahoo! Autos, Glam Media, Foxnews.com, Huffington Post, BusinessInsider.com, Oodle and The San Francisco Chronicle, to name a few. High Gear Media is headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif. and received its funding from Accel Partners, Greylock Partners and DAG Ventures.

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