The men’s lifestyle site Thrillist received some attention last fall when it re-designed its website and threw what was by at least one account a memorable party in New York City to celebrate it’s three-year anniversary, complete with a chocolate covered “Axe Man.” (I was probably at something much cooler that night, much cooler). But the New York company, which delivers emails to young male professionals, has been doing more than partying. It has been quietly building a profitable business, according to CEO and co-founder Ben Lerer. I talked with Lerer this morning, and here are the latest financials for Thrillist.
–Subscribers are nearing one million and growing.
–Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) is in the “seven figures”
–The company’s CPMs are in the triple-digits (around $200 in some cases) — this at a time when most online publications are happy to receive mid-single-digit ad buys.
As with any private company, there is no way to independently verify these numbers. But the way the company has been funded suggests that it isn’t bleeding cash. Thrillist has taken less than $1 million in seed capital from The Pilot Group, which invested the money in stages after an initial seed investment of $250,000 in 2005. (Lerer said that one stipulation with the seed investment was that none of it could be spent on marketing, so that the company would be forced to grow on the strength of its products.)