The cheap sale of Mic is bringing a lot of press attention to VC-backed media companies, highlighting the risk that comes with raising lots of money to support ad-driven media business models.
The big picture: Digital media companies tend to sell for anywhere between 2.5x and 9x revenues from the previous year, or a little higher in terms of EBITDA. They are valued at what their growth expectations will be for revenue and profit over time. The goal is to bring in money at a percentage higher than what they raised, demonstrating a growth trajectory. But companies don't always bring in revenues in multiples higher than the money that they raise, which can lead to sales, layoffs and unhappy investors.