We stopped by the Business Insider daylong conference about the start-up scene yesterday at NYU.
I caught up with with Kevin Ryan, co-founder of AlleyCorp, the parent other Business Insider and its growing network of online publications. Kevin's Manhattan-based company also includes, e-commerce, a CDN business and other ventures.
The event was moderated by Henry Blodget, editor of the growing business network which includes the Silicon Alley Insider.
Just last month, the company raised outside funding from prestigious investors including Allen & Company. It declined to say how much was raised, but paidContent put it somewhere around $5 million.
I asked Kevin about the proceeds of the funding. He explains in this interview that they are in the early stages of creating a big business information company, like a Dow Jones.
He also gave an overview on some of the hot start-up topics emerging in New York — he says e-mail plays are hot.
Andy Plesser, Executive Producer
Henry Blodget: I think one of the under-utilized mechanisms today is email. So I'll give you couple different examples of businesses that use email really well. Daily candy is one example. The Ladders is another example. Tire Business, the product is really an email that goes out to people; it's one of the most successful companies in Silicon Alley. Gilt Groupe, one of my company's, is a completely different business model, but uses email instead of advertising to reach people. Thrillist–another company. It's an email newsletter, so it's a very very efficient way and I think people are starting to use email in clever ways to get to their consumers cost efficiently.
Andy Plesser: So, congratulations on the new round of funding with Herb Allen–incredible group. Tell us a little about the funding and what that will allow you to do.
Henry Blodget: You know we've use very little outside money to date, partly because the business has done well so we're getting two to two and a half million unique visitors a month on Alley Insider and on Business Insider, so that has brought in a lot of ad revenue. We've been surprised, ad revenue this month is double what it was six months ago. So that's encouraging even in this downturn economy. So we just…we're going to expand into bunch of different areas, so we're expanding the number of verticals we're after, so we now have Silicon Alley Insider covering technology, we have Cluster Stock covering Wall Street, we have a green tech area, and we're going to expand the number of verticals over the next several months.
What we're trying to create, really, is a business information company. So if you think of Dow Jones which is whatever, a hundred years old, we're in the early stages of creating something like that, so our publication is the beginning stage of that, but it's not the end all. We'll have other products that we launch over time that have video, email newsletters, things like that, conference business–as you see, today is our first conference and we'll expand that. So it's leveraging a brand name in a bunch of different areas.
Andy Plesser: Great, well congratulations on a great event.
Henry Blodget: Thank you. It's been fun.