We've been told multiple times over the past few days that TechCrunch and upstart Silicon Alley Insider are in talks about partnering in a range of ways from a formal, integrated arrangement to some kind of an East Coast-West Coast network. But AlleyCorp. CEO Kevin Ryan told me tonight that is not the case, at least not at the CEO level of the two companies: "We're not having any conversations with them." He added that he has never talked to TechCrunch CEO Heather Harde or founder Michael Arrington though he would like to meet them informally some time. Arrington and SAI editor-in-chief Henry Blodget have had some discussions but nothing has reached CEO level. Ryan would not confirm that TechCrunch had approached SAI about partnering. Michael Arrington told me: "We don't have any comment." (He called in response to a request that I made of Harde, who is traveling.)
While the pairing might make sense on the product levelstart-ups for TechCrunch, financial analysis for SAIit's hard to see Ryan or Blodget agreeing to an arrangement with TechCrunch in control. Formal content sharing or some ad revenue sharing, perhaps even an event or two, but nothing that means pooling resources to the extent of a merger. Then again, you never know.
SAI funding: I was able to confirm SAI's fundraising plans with Ryan, who said, "we're starting the process. We're at the very beginnings and we haven't had many conversations. To date, we're just funding it ourselves." But, he said, "my guess is we'll raise money in the next several months ... somewhere between $750,000 and $2 million." The funds would be for new products and expansion. That's considerably lower than the first numbers that hit the rumor mill.
TechCrunch rollup starting with VentureBeat?: Meanwhile, Owen Thomas reported earlier this week that TechCrunch and VentureBeat are in merger talks. (I should have asked Arrington about this as well.)
By Staci D. Kramer