26 February 2009
With that being said, its possible he took a couple of weeks off to recharge as well as button up TechCrunch's pitch to VC's and is using the second half of the vacation to actively solicit investors. 2- TechCrunch is hiring. Not just a writer or two, but 2 sales directors, 2 developers, an events person, office admin, and a handful of other positions. This type of hiring ramp up seems to indicate that additional money is coming in the door considering that online advertising has really imploded the last 5 months. 3- TechCrunch has dumped their ad partner, Federated Media. Arrington put them on blast over a month ago, and has subsequently pulled the trigger on leaving FM in hopes of doing better elsewhere or on their own. To my knowledge they haven't signed a deal for a direct selling relationship elsewhere so it seems very possible that TechCrunch may be the anchor tenant in Arrington's prophesied dream team blog network. Probably why they need two, and not one sales people. 4- TechCrunch has value and intangibles that are indicative of a startup and not just a blog. They have revenue producing events like TechCrunch 50 and the Crunchies, have a legitimate CEO (Heather Harde), and are now selling their own research reports for $150 and up.
5- They are looking for sizable office space. If this doesn't scream we are getting venture capital, I don't know what does. The overhead associated with a hiring ramp up and new office space alone is pretty tell tell sign that TechCrunch is expanding well past their means through revenue generated from advertising, events, and research.
" Also, we’re finally looking for proper office space. If anyone has 2-3,000 square feet of space to sublet in the Palo Alto area, please ping me,"
6- Is this site new? Stumbled upon it today. Seems like a search engine/hub page for a multi site network. Although TechCrunch does have affiliated site at this time, this network search page looks built to be something bigger like CNET 2.0 vision Arrington laid out.
7- Arrington hinted he would recruit a dream team for his CNET like network and seems to have gotten the ball rolling on that front. Under the guise of needing help to pick up the slack while on vacation, Arrington has brought on Leena Rao and Sarah Lacey.
Rao is lesser known but has great pedigree writing for the San Francisco Business Times.
Lacey is a great acquisition (famous for her web 2.0 book), and has had some public and forth with Arrington on Twitter about staying on. She's playing hard to get for now.
Lacey at SXSW where she had a pretty rough interview with the Zuck
All that being said, I think we'll hear an announcement soonish confirming my theory. Time will tell if the potential business will be successful but they can always hire me to improve their odds. Seriously Arrington and Harde, drop me a line.
Just for guessing sake, I would envision TechCrunch getting a $5-10 million round with a post valuation of $20-25 million. If Huffpo can raise $25 mill in this crap economy why not TechCrunch to a lesser extent?