Food52, a website with recipes and cookware founded by former New York Times columnist Amanda Hesser, has a new owner. Chernin Group, the media investment and production company started by former News Corp. CEO Peter Chernin, has bought the startup.
Both companies declined to comment on the deal to Recode, but told the Wall Street Journal that Chernin bought a majority stake in the company for $ 83 million in a deal that values the company at $ 100 million. Hesse and co-founder Merrill Stubbs had raised around $ 20 million in funds since 2010, per PitchBook.
It's a nice and slightly surprising result for Food52, which faced competition from across the internet during its lifetime: You can get recipes everywhere, you can buy cookware and other kitchenware anywhere, and in many places you can do both sharing at the same time. For example, Food Network just launched another service with a similar idea. But Food52's trading business has picked up in recent years, according to people familiar with the company.
The agreement is in line with the direction Chernin Group has headed: The company, which once had plans to put together a very large internet conglomerate after purchasing a large anchor such as Hulu, has instead purchased and built a stable of internet companies aimed at different audiences, all of which depend on revenue streams beyond Internet advertising. Chernin has invested in Headspace, for example, which sells a subscription to its meditation app; it also owns a majority stake in Barstool Sports, which sells branded spirits and gets sports betting.