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Babble.com Secures Financing, Splits from Nerve Media

Hunter Walker
Special to WebNewser

nervemedia.jpgNerve Media has secured financing for their Babble.com parenting site from New York-based venture capital fund Village Ventures. As a result of the new cash infusion, Babble will be spun off into a new company separate from Nerve Media. Both companies are now hiring.

Nerve Media got it’s start in 1997 with the sex and relationships blog Nerve.com. The company’s CEO and co-founder Rufus Griscom will be leaving to serve as the chief executive of Babble although he will remain as non-executive chairman of the board at Nerve Media. Griscom’s departure leaves Nerve.com searching for a new CEO. Nerve will also be looking for a vice president of Sales. Babble is hiring an Office Manager and a Senior Sales Executive. Additionally, Griscom tells us that Babble will be looking for freelance bloggers to “build out new sections of the Web site.”

Village Venture is giving Babble $2 million. Babble also hopes to raise another $500,000 in VC funding during the first quarter of 2009. With the new funding, Griscom says he hopes Babble can become the “number one parenting Web site.” Griscom says that, so far, in what he describes as “phase one” of Babble, the site has “been pretty good at coming at the parenting category with a fresh perspective… but we have not been as good at answering the questions a mom has at 3 in the morning. So, in phase two, we’re going to have laser focus on answering those questions.”

According to Griscom, Babble has approximately 1.5 million monthly unique visitors.

Griscom says that “after a decade of growing Nerve” moving to Babble “was not an insignifcant decision.” But fatherhood changed things. “I have two little boys so I’m recognizing that I’ve graduated from the demographic,” he says.

Griscom describes Nerve’s audience as mainly composed of 20-30 something singles. We asked Griscom if he was nervous about the prospects for his sites during the recession. “I think it’s a good time to be in online media, because though online advertising is feeling some pain, you know print advertising is feeling considerably more pain.”

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