Decrypt and Rug Radio Announce Merger to Strengthen Web3 Media Presence
In a significant development within the crypto media landscape, Decrypt, a prominent news company covering crypto and web3, has formalized a letter of intent to merge with Rug Radio, a decentralized media company catering to web3 creators. This strategic merger, revealed by executives in discussions with Axios, represents the third major deal in the crypto media sector within the past month.
The Current Crypto Media Landscape:
Recent events in the crypto media sphere have witnessed notable transactions. The Block, a key crypto media outlet, recently saw a majority stake acquisition by Singaporean venture capital firm Foresight Ventures, valuing the company at a substantial $70 million. CoinDesk, another significant crypto news outlet, underwent a transaction with a crypto exchange led by former New York Stock Exchange President Tom Farley last month. These developments underline the dynamic nature and growth potential of the crypto media sector.
Decrypt’s Origins and Evolution:
Decrypt, founded in 2018 with seed funding from ConsenSys Mesh, a blockchain startup incubator, has played a pivotal role in crypto journalism. Originally incubated within ConsenSys Mesh, Decrypt emerged independently after securing $10 million in funding in 2022. ConsenSys Mesh founder Joseph Lubin, also the co-founder of Ethereum, highlighted the strategic push to align Decrypt more closely with the web3 ecosystem.
Merger Details and Leadership Structure:
The merger between Decrypt and Rug Radio will result in the formation of a new holding company, as outlined in a recent interview with Joseph Lubin. The holding company, yet to be named, will maintain the distinct branding and independence of both firms. The chairmanship of the holding company will be assumed by Josh Quittner, Decrypt’s current CEO. Rug Radio’s co-CEOs, Loxley Fernandes and founder Farokh Sarmad, will transition to roles as CEO and president, respectively, within the new holding company.
Operational Autonomy and Mutual Benefits:
While Decrypt and Rug Radio will continue to operate independently, they foresee collaboration on advertising ventures that can mutually benefit both entities. Decrypt plans to leverage Rug Radio’s creator community to expand its coverage into new areas such as longevity and emerging technology/artificial intelligence. Rug Radio, known for live audio podcasts and video content, anticipates increased distribution through Decrypt’s website for creators interested in exploring text-based content.
Revenue Models and Financial Projections:
The executives emphasized the equitable nature of the merger, with investors in both Decrypt and Rug Radio retaining stakes in the new holding company. Rug Radio’s innovative use of web3 tools for unique branded content deals between creators and advertisers is expected to enhance Decrypt’s revenue models. Rug Radio, projecting $3 million in revenue for 2023, plans to break even in the coming year. Decrypt, with an annual revenue of approximately $3 million, generates income through advertising against its web3 journalism content.
Web3’s Equitable Approach:
Web3’s underlying principle of delivering increased rewards to content creators and engaged users aligns with the ethos of the new holding company. Rug Radio’s emphasis on equitable transactions is reinforced by the commitment to exclusively partner with Arbitrum, a company supporting tech for micro-transactions built on blockchain systems.
The proposed merger between Decrypt and Rug Radio signifies a strategic move to consolidate strengths and enhance their presence within the evolving web3 media landscape. With a focus on operational autonomy, equitable partnerships, and leveraging each other’s strengths, the new holding company aims to be a prominent player in the dynamic world of crypto media. The anticipated closing of the deal in early 2024 reflects the ambitious yet pragmatic approach of the entities involved.