We missed this late last week: Nerve Media, the NYC-based parent of Nerve.com has spun off its two-year old Babble, a parenting community site aimed at urban hipsters, and has raised $2 million from Village Ventures to continue developing its site and grow its sales operations. The site competes with the likes of CBS/CNET's hipster-ish mom site Urbanbaby, which has seen somewhat of an exodus of users recently after a much-hated redesign by the parent. Other competitors include J&J-owned BabyCenter, iVillage and Parents.com.
According to Rufus Griscom, the founder of Nerve, interviewed in NYT, the move was prompted because of traffic growth at Babble, along with interest from investors, a rarity these days. Griscom has also given up his CEO position at Nerve with this, and moving to head Babble full time. The hunt is one for a new head for Nerve, said Griscom. "Nerve is cash-flow positive and can grow without investment." Griscom estimates Nerve rakes in roughly $3 million per year in revenue from ads, premium content subscriptions ($35/year), online personals and royalties from a dozen Nerve-branded books. The raciness part probably helps there
Nerve isn't new to spin offs: it started Spring Street Networks, a dating listings syndication service in 2003, and after running into revenue troubles, sold it to Various Inc., (now called FriendFinder Networks and in the process of filing for an IPO).
By Rafat Ali