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2013

AOL Snaffles Another Tech Product Review Site Gdgt

February 16, 2013 0

New York — In an attempt to expand its content empire, AOL has officially confirmed the acquisition of gdgt, the gadget reviews media outfit announced today in a blog post, for an undisclosed sum in a move that could expand the network’s content offerings and shopping data.

TechCrunch, another property now owned by AOL, reports that both gdgt and AOL affirmed the acquisition, which could be “in the high seven figures” according to one of its sources.

Gdgt co-founder Ryan Block broke the news today on the gdgt blog, which had been rumored for more than a week, calling his company “a natural fit for AOL’s world-class lineup of tech sites.”

Elaborating further, he wrote, “At AOL, gdgt will only continue to grow and evolve as the best premium destination for purchase intelligence, recommendations, user reviews, shopping data, and community-driven content about personal technology.”

 

According to gdgt’s co-founder Block, this was the outset of a talks that led to gdgt’s acquisition by AOL. “We got to talking further and realized that gdgt, its team, its technology, and perhaps most importantly its DNA, were a natural fit for AOL’s world-class lineup of tech sites,” he penned. “Well, one thing led to another, and here we are.”

In fact, the next few months will be a transition period, as gdgt moves operations under its new custodians’ roof; the site will also adopt AOL’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Users who do not want their profile data making the move have until March 15 to mark account profile data for deletion.

Since the official consolidation announced, all other profiles will remain intact, “and we will just keep doing what we used to do to make gdgt the best possible gadget reviews and community outlet around,” Block said. “Also, the next time we see you we will totally give you a high five.”

Apart from this latest acquisition, AOL’s tech media portfolio already included TechCrunch, Joystiq and TUAW, as well as Engadget, which had closed a partnership with gdgt last year to feature the gdgt databox on its website.

Besides, it is also worth noting that AOL Ventures was one of the funds that took part in gdgt’s series A round; according to CrunchBase, it has raised a total of $3.72 million in VC funding.

Gdgt was launched in 2009 by Peter Rojas and Ryan Block. Both men are familiar with AOL. Rojas co-founded Gizmodo, as well as tech blogs Engadget and Joystiq–both of which are now AOL properties. Block was an early editor-in-chief for Engadget there as well. Though they ultimately left AOL and Engadget to start gdgt, the founders started working with Engadget again last year to provide the latter with product data.

More so, the site, completely community-driven, is a collection of lists of gadgets people want and those they already have, as well as a place for people to ask each other questions about their devices. Just a month after hitting the Web, the vowel-less site caught the attention of CBS and Amazon, which were allegedly looking to buy gdgt.

Furthermore, gdgt will expand its event activities in association with Engadget. This is not very surprising: not only are they now both part of AOL’s portfolio, but according to TechCrunch, the pair will now move on to new roles, with Rojas still running gdgt while taking on a role as executive editor-at-large at Engadget. As for Block, he is reportedly set to become head of product for AOL Tech Media, and it will be interesting to see if his new role will have an impact on the other tech blogs that are part of the media giant’s portfolio.

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