FM Publishing raises a boatload of cash

According to Private Equity Hub FM Publishing has raised a boatload full of cash to keep its advertising network afloat and profitable.

Federated Media Publishing has raised between $40 million in $50 million in Series C funding at a $200 million pre-money valuation, peHUB has learned. Oak Investment Partners led the round, with return backers like Omidyar Network also participating. An official announcement is expected to come early this week.

FM Publishing is a Sausalito, Calif.-based operator of an advertising network for more than 200 online publishers, including Boing Boing, GigaOm and TechCrunch. It’s run by former Industry Standard honcho John Battelle, and is known to take extremely large commissions (by traditional ad sales standards, not by more generous online ad network standards).

I’m told that FM had just under $25 million in 2007 revenue, and expects to generate upwards of $60 million this year. That’s one hell of a jump in a down economy, but I’ll accept the conventional wisdom that online advertising will continue to grow, particularly because it represents an affordable alternative for cash-strapped offline advertisers.

When the economy is on the skids like it is now I think its hard to place such a strong valuation on consumer oriented ad networks. But what do I know I’ve never run an ad network.

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