Some of the biggest names in nerd tech online have been sold, passing into the portfolio of Dice Holdings, the parent company of tech job website, Dice.com.
In total, Geeknet was paid $20 million for Slashdot, SourceForge and Freecode. This suggests that the revenues of these sites have taken a dip in recent months, since it was claimed in the Geeknet statement that in 2011, the properties made over $20 million. As a general rule of thumb, websites go for between two and three times their revenue, minus expenses. It’s also quite a drop from Slashdot’s valuation of nearly $150 million back in 2005.
Commenting on the purchase, was Scot Melland, Chairman, President & CEO of Dice Holdings: “The acquisition of these premier technology sites fits squarely into our strategy of providing content and services that are important to tech professionals in their everyday work lives,” he said in a statement. “The SourceForge and Slashdot communities will enable our customers to reach millions of engaged tech professionals on a regular basis and significantly extends our company’s reach into the global tech community.”
Geeknet’s head honcho, Ken Lagone, added: “We are very pleased to find a new home for our media business, providing a platform for the sites and our media teams to thrive. With this transaction completed, we will now focus our full attention on growing ThinkGeek.”
In the past few years, ThinkGeek has become the major development of GeekNet, which champions and sells nerd focused accessories and gadgets. With that in mind, the sale of its other properties is understandable, but why would a jobs site be interested in Slashdot?
Gigaom put that to Mike Durney, current CFO at DICE, who said that he hoped Slashdot’s pool of tech savvy users would compliment Dice.com, by not only helping people find tech orientated jobs, but managing them and keeping them – helping them stay up to date on the latest trends and to learn. Of course that’s if the members stick around now they know the site is being run by someone else.
Dice will also need to combat the waning influence of the site, with the growth of new competitors like Reddit.
Slashdot has changed hands once before, since its inception in 1997. Andover.net, which would later become SourceForge Inc, bought the property from its creator Rob Malda back in 1999, for $1.5 million in cash and $7 million in stock. However he remained with the site until 2011, eventually joining a subsidiary of the Washington Post as a digital strategist earlier this year. His only Twitter comment on the matter was to say, “Just to be clear: I left Slashdot over a year ago, and have nothing to do with anything there any more.”