Sep 15, 2022 - Economy

Exclusive: Recurrent Ventures acquires Dwell

Photo courtesy of Recurrent Ventures

Recurrent Ventures, a venture equity-backed digital media company, has acquired Dwell, a premium home design magazine turned-digital media brand.

Why it matters: Dwell rounds out Recurrent’s current portfolio of home design media companies.

Catch up quick: In the past few years, Recurrent has acquired over two dozen small, digital media companies across a few niche verticals, including home, design, food and automotive.

  • In March it acquired Business of Home, a digital and print publication dedicated to home and interior design enthusiasts.
  • Last year it acquired Domino, a home magazine and digital media company that was launched by Conde Nast in 2005.
  • It also owns Bob Villa, a home renovation outlet and Lonny, a design enthusiast publication.

Details: All of Dwell’s roughly 30 full-time employees have joined Recurrent Ventures and the company’s current management team will stay in place, Dwell’s CEO Zach Klein told Axios.

  • Dwell will continue to exist as a standalone brand and will leverage Recurrent Ventures’ back-end resources to boost its business, Klein said.
  • Klein declined to offer revenue figures but said the company’s revenue grew by 51% in 2021.
  • While deal terms were not disclosed, executives confirmed it did not require regulatory review, which is typically necessary for deals over $100 million.
  • The deal closed officially on Wednesday.

Between the lines: Prior to 2020, Klein said Dwell made most of its revenue from its print magazine product. Today, he noted, the majority of its revenue comes from digital revenue streams, including digital ads, digital subscriptions and affiliate revenue.

  • Currently, Dwell is looking to expand its licensing business and co-develop more products and services with third parties.
  • It currently partners with Heath Ceramics on a custom tile line and Chicory on a custom outdoor furniture line.

Be smart: Klein said Dwell wasn’t looking to sell, but started to consider offers this year following a slew of inbound interest. Home design brands saw significant gains during the pandemic, and have continued to see growth as more people invest in work-from-home spaces.

  • Asked why Dwell ultimately chose to sell to Recurrent, Klein said they were attracted to the resources Recurrent could provide to grow the business further.
  • Recurrent can bolster Dwell’s direct ad sales efforts, Klein said, because it can sell Dwell ad inventory alongside its larger portfolio of home brands.
  • “I think working with Domino, for us, was one of the big sells,” Klein said. “I think we’re joining really quality home and design brands.”

The big picture: Recurrent was launched by private equity firm North Equity in 2021 as the operating business for North Equity's digital media portfolio.

  • North Equity has acquired two dozen digital publications since 2018, including Popular Photography, Car Bibles and others.
  • The company raised $300 million in May in a round led by Blackstone to scale its operations and continue building a platform to acquire and grow smaller digital media brands across certain categories. It’s raised over $400 million total.
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