Dec 8, 2020 - Economy

Parenting publisher hits pandemic profitability

Vinit Bharara. Photo: Some Spider Studios

Some Spider Studios, one of the largest digital media publishers for parents, will bring in $35 million in revenue this year, including $5 million in profit, a source familiar with its finances tells Axios.

Why it matters: Digiday had previously reported that the company, which is home to big internet parenting brands like Scary Mommy, The Dad and Fatherly, was expecting to hit $50 million in revenue this year prior to the pandemic. That's now become its goal for 2021, along with $10 million in profit.

The 120-person company is run by Vinit Bharara, who launched Some Spider Studios in 2014 with $5 million of his own capital after selling, the site he co-founded, to Amazon for more than $500 million in 2010.

  • Most of the company's money comes from advertising, but the company does have growing events business linked to Scary Mommy and a budding commerce business.
  • Some Spider Studio brands collectively have about 30 million followers across social media. Scary Mommy is by far the biggest, especially on Snapchat.

The big picture: Bharara is the younger brother of the former United States attorney in Manhattan Preet Bharara, who joined the company in 2017 after he was fired by President Trump.

  • Preet Bharara runs a separate editorial brand called Cafe that's focused on subscription news and politics podcasts.
  • Cafe is separate from the parenting brands under the Some Spider Studios umbrella, and its revenue isn't included in Some Spider Studios' expected numbers this year, although Cafe is still technically owned by Vinit Bharara and does share limited back end functionality with Some Spider Studios.

Vinit Bharara built the portfolio through a series of acquisitions, starting with the Scary Mommy property in 2015.

  • His fellow co-founder Marc Lore — now president and CEO of Walmart eCommerce — put in $5 million in 2016. The company launched "The Dad" a year later in 2017 and raised another $10 million.
  • It acquired Fatherly in March of this year, and spun out Preet Bharara's Cafe media business in conjunction with that deal.

What's next: Sources say that next year, the company is hoping to make more acquisitions and possibly build a commerce platform for families.

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