AngelList buys Product Hunt, expands into customer acquisition
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Image Credit: Product Hunt / AngelList

Image Credit: Product Hunt / AngelList

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AngelList has acquired Product Hunt in a move to diversify the former’s offerings to startups and help the latter develop its business model.

In a Medium post, Product Hunt’s Founder Ryan Hoover outlined the rationale behind the acquisition, writing that the companies’ had a “peanut butter and jelly” relationship looking at the market going ahead so it made sense to team up at this time. The acquisition will help Product Hunt develop itself as a business without having to worry about running up into AngelList as a competitor. “With Product Hunt, we can help companies with their most important transaction: acquiring customers,” said AngelList in a statement posted to the company blog.

The companies have not disclosed the terms of the sale, but the deal is estimated to be worth around $20 million. Product Hunt has previously raised $7.1 million on its own before the acquisition, and was mulling another major round worth $7-9 million before ultimately deciding to join up with AngelList.

Product Hunt began as an email list in 2013, and then transitioned into its current setup, dubbed “the water cooler” of tech startup discussions, as it attracted a large client base from small developers to industry majors like Google and Uber and major VC partners such as Andreessen Horowitz and Y Combinator, an early backer.

Even though the big name players make use of the site, even relatively unknown developers can catch a big break if their offering goes viral, like the Startup Slash resource kit. It also helps to develop a sense of community for developers, investors, and just avid techies in general, since it is a social media forum with its upvoting and comment systems.

Its “curated and crowdsourced depository” model has proven wildly popular, if challenging to monetize. And here is where AngelList will come in strong. Its CEO Naval Ravikant told BuzzFeed since it already has funding (it’s raised $400-500 million today) and hiring teams of experts covered when it comes to pitching to VC partners, “Product Hunt is the place for those passionate early adopters,” the “marquee customers.” (And also, of course, the experts who help curate the site.)

For management and operations purposes, Product Hunt will still effectively oversee itself, since there is not too much overlap with AngelList’s existing services right now. “Our focus was and still is product discovery, helping makers reach an audience,” according to Hoover. Product Hunt’s ratings system could complement AngelList’s own offerings to customers as it is phased into its new owner’s platforms. As we at Geektime wrote on Product Hunt last month, “An audience of devotees is great for spreading awareness of your business and growing your customer base organically and free of cost, a feature that will become especially handy when it’s time to monetize.”

Hoover also told Recode, “Down the road you might see some of the talent pieces of AngelList come over to Product Hunt and maybe some of the Product Discovery aspects go to AngelList.”

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