NSFWCORP Acquired by PandoDaily in the VegasTechFund’s First Acquisition

Yesterday, Paul Carr’s NSFWCORP announced its acquisition by PandoDaily, in the first exit for a VegasTechFund portfolio company.

NSFWCORP had been publicly struggling with financial issues, as it raced to raise $50,000 to stay alive in late September. After succeeding, Carr said that NSFWCORP was still going to raise additional money to avoid a similar situation in the future. But sometime in October, he began formally discussing an acquisition by PandoDaily.

PandoDaily is the startup and tech blog run by Sarah Lacy, former senior editor at TechCrunch. In her announcement, Lacy denied the claim that she was simply bailing out her longtime friend Carr. “Paul can attest I’ve been a brutal negotiator throughout this process, our friendship aside,” she wrote.

Instead, she explains, she and Carr simply realized how much their editorial strategies were overlapping, with NSFWCORP increasingly focused on the tech industry’s involvement in politics and media, and PandoDaily moving toward more long-form, investigative journalism.

The way Carr saw it, “If we could find a way to join forces without killing each other, the result would be an astonishing collection of reporting talent, writing for a far larger audience than NSFWCORP has been able to attract with our subscription-only model.” He says they had discussed an acquisition twice before, but their focus had been too different at the time.

The price of NSFWCORP was not announced, but we do know that the NSFWCORP brand will be going away and Carr will be leading an investigative reporting unit on PandoDaily. Four full-time staff and three contributors will work for PandoDaily, while three NSFWCORP employees were laid off. NSFWCORP’s print magazine will turn into a quarterly publication called PandoQuarterly.

NSFWCORP has had a rocky relationship with the VegasTechFund, part of Tony Hsieh’s Downtown Project. “We’re not really on speaking terms,” wrote Carr in his funding plea, citing a critical article they wrote about VTF. Carr plans to sell off all the items in NSFWCORP’s Vegas office on December 2, but it’s still unclear whether he’ll be leaving Vegas himself.

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Written by:
Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.
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