Gigaom closure gives tech bloggers pause

Gigaom closure gives tech bloggers pause

The abrupt closure of technology site Gigaom, founded by Indian American Om Malik in 2006, has sent shivers down the spines of everyone in the technology content space.

Though the site had long given up on the race for page views and unique users, pulling in just 873,000 uniques per month in January according to tracking site compete.com compared with 15.7 million-plus for competitor Mashable and 4.3 million-plus for Gizmodo, it was still a leading source of information for many in the Silicon Valley and elsewhere.

Gigaom’s abrupt closure took even staff writers by surprise since it was uploading content as late as Monday this week. But the news of its closure was announced on the site later that day through a post titled ‘A Note to Our Readers About Gigaom’, signed by Gigaom Management. It simply said, among others, that “Gigaom recently became unable to pay its creditors in full at this time”, and that “all operations have ceased”.

The New York Post has reported that Gigaom blew through $25 million and defaulted on its loan. It has also identified Silicon Valley Bank as the creditor which pulled the plug. Founder Malik, who had left active management a year ago, but had stayed on as a board member, later posted in his personal blog that “business, much like life, is not a movie and not everyone gets to have a story book ending”. He signed off saying, “I might have left Gigaom, the company, over a year ago, but Gigaom, the idea still lives in my heart.”

Gigaom had in 2012 taken over another digital media content site called paidContent.org, reportedly for about $5 million, from Britain’s Guardian Media, which had earlier acquired it for about $30 million. That site, also founded by an Indo-Britisher, Rafat Ali, was subsequently folded into Gigaom. As Gigaom shuts shop, a chapter closes for two Indian pioneer bloggers in the tech space.

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