PE-backed CafeMedia acquires AdThrive

CafeMedia has acquired AdThrive, a lifestyle digital publishing and ad monetization network. No financial terms were disclosed. CafeMedia is backed by Highland Capital Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and ABRY Partners.


New York, NY (September 29, 2016) – CafeMedia today announced the acquisition of AdThrive, a leading lifestyle digital publishing and ad monetization network covering food, home, parenting, and DIY. The companies’ combined traffic is expected to exceed 73 million unduplicated monthly unique visitors on comScore[i] along with 290 million social media fans across platforms. The acquisition more than doubles CafeMedia’s audience reach, surpassing Refinery29, BabyCenter, Bustle, PopSugar, Meredith Digital and Vox Media[ii].

“The addition of AdThrive to the CafeMedia family enables us to deliver scale for our advertising partners. AdThrive’s strength in food, home, and DIY will complement and turbocharge our long-standing leadership position with moms, Latinas, and millennials,” said CafeMedia CEO and Co-Founder, Michael Sanchez. “Most importantly, we are thrilled to join forces with the amazing team at AdThrive to pursue an even deeper mission: to support the individual voices who create the internet, allowing them to make more money, grow their audience and live their passions.”

AdThrive, cofounded by Andy and Kelly Marzka in 2013, is a complete ad optimization and management service used by more than 1,200 bloggers to manage and optimize their digital advertising. AdThrive’s ad optimization and management, LightningLoad™ ads, benefits as a Google Certified Publishing Partner and custom video channel services are provided at zero cost to bloggers, helping moms, creatives, makers and writers earn an average of 123% more money per pageview. Per comScore, AdThrive has grown from 2 million monthly unique visitors to 63 million in less than a year[iii].

“AdThrive offers the most personalized service and highest-paying ads to our community of bloggers,” said Andy Marzka, CEO and Founder, AdThrive. “Together with CafeMedia, we will help even more content creators earn more money, increase their traffic and make their lives easier – it’s a win for all involved.”

Sanchez added that last week’s Mode Media shutdown is a reflection of the lack of genuine support that bloggers, smaller publishers, and content creators often receive from larger media companies. “Along with the whole AdThrive team, we are deeply committed to helping these individual voices succeed in every way. We will put their needs first.”

Recently, CafeMedia has enjoyed significant success connecting with millennials, moms and Latinas through its owned and operated properties including CafeMom, MamásLatinas, Vivala, and Revelist. CafeMedia Studios, the company’s full-service premium digital video production studio, supports each brand’s multi-platform video strategy, delivering more than 250 million video views in August, up from 12 million views six months earlier.

ABRY Partners provided funding for the acquisition. “We are delighted to be part of such a compelling story. The combination of CafeMedia and AdThrive will immediately become a scaled leader in the women’s media space and together they have a tremendous opportunity to empower bloggers and content creators everywhere,” said ABRY Partners’, Tyler Wick, who will be joining the Company’s Board of Directors.

About AdThrive:
AdThrive helps leading online publishers make the most money possible by optimizing the ads on their site. Founded in 2013, AdThrive provides the latest technology and high-quality, hands-on customer service to help its clients live their passions.
AdThrive was created when founder Andy Marzka, a math teacher, brought his data-driven mindset to helping his wife Kelly’s blog improve its revenue, substantially growing its revenue after some initial testing. It was clear there was an opportunity to help more people in the blogging community, and AdThrive was born. Since that day in 2013, the personal attention, hard work, and data-minded results AdThrive offers has made it the leading ad optimization company for publishers looking to earn more money with less work.

About CafeMedia:
CafeMedia is a rapidly growing digital media company that delivers content that reflects the experience of every woman, no matter where she is, where she’s coming from, or where she’s going. Before closing this acquisition, the company reaches 90 million monthly users across its owned and operated properties, blogger network, and social platforms.
CafeMedia develops custom content marketing, native advertising, and word-of-mouth influencer programs that help brands add value to users’ lives and activate word of mouth. CafeMedia is also a leader in helping advertisers reach the right users and generate results through premium programmatic solutions.

CafeMedia was founded by Michael Sanchez and Andrew Shue, with Highland Capital Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and ABRY Partners as lead investors.

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About ABRY Partners:
Founded in 1989, ABRY Partners is one of the most experienced and successful media, communications, business and information services focused private equity investment firms in North America. Since its founding, ABRY has completed over $61 billion of transactions, representing investments in over 550 properties. The firm is managing approximately $4.9 billion of total capital and investing out of a $1.9 billion private equity fund, $950 million senior equity fund, a $1.5 billion senior debt fund and a $525 million lower middle market private equity fund.