Webrazzi, the main tech startup media title in Turkey, has acquired Tech.eu, the long-time tech startup site in Europe. The pooled entity of Webrazzi and Tech.eu will now offer combined editorial, data, and research platforms offering news and market intelligence. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Launched in 2006 by Arda Kutsal, Webrazzi reaches 1.25 million readers a month (15 million a year) and will now expand its European and English language reach with the Tech.eu acquisition.
Tech.eu was launched in 2013 by former TechCrunch writer Robin Wauters, and has since become one of, now several, destinations for European tech startup and innovation news. It has, however, faced increasing competition from a number of other European-oriented outlets such as EU Startups, Silicon Canals, and the Financial Times-backed Sifted.eu. (TechCrunch’s European bureau started its coverage in 2006).
Tech.eu’s investors included 500 Startups, Adeo Ressi (The Founder Institute), Roxanne Varza (Station F), Daniel Waterhouse (Balderton) and Carlos Eduardo Espinal (Seedcamp).
Wauters explained that part of the motivation for the sale came from a desire to have its own tech stack, custom CMS, bespoke software for managing native advertising campaigns, and an events platform, which Webrazzi has.
Arda Kutsal, founder and CEO of Webrazzi, said: “We are excited to expand further into Europe by acquiring Tech.eu, which we have considered the best source of technology news and market data for many years. We are impressed with the team’s accomplishments to date, as well as its solid plans for the future, and can’t wait to work together with them to turn those into reality.”
Robin Wauters, founding editor and managing director of Tech.eu, said: “I have long admired what Arda and his team have built, and I’m excited to bring the knowledge and experience we’ve gained from building Tech.eu as a team to the Webrazzi family and see how far and wide we can take our combined editorial platforms next. The European technology ecosystems are evolving at an incredible pace, and we can’t wait to continue covering and analysing their future ins and outs under the Webrazzi umbrella. I fully expect it to be more hard work and good fun!”
On a call with me, he added: “We weren’t really looking for anyone to sell to, but Arda was in touch with us from 2014 when he wanted to invest in our Seed round. That didn’t happen, but we stayed in touch, chatting about each other’s business, and one thing led to another, as they say.”
“We didn’t have a big sales team so it’s always very difficult for us to compete. What they bring to the table is, of course, a team of 25 people that we can immediately tap into, so that was music to my ears because it’s very, very heavy competition not just on the media side but also on data and events side. This acquisition means more ability to accelerate what we want to do,” he added.
Had he found the European media landscape increasingly competitive?
“I think the competition is just normal. If you look at the way that the European tech ecosystem itself has grown and matured, then there are going to be multiple publications. I think we were early, maybe even a bit too early. But we did make it in the first few years when it was still relatively small. But it’s matured to a point now where a single publication I think cannot do it justice anymore, so it’s normal that there are multiple ones,” he said.
I asked if his investors pushed for an exit: “We raised around seven years ago, right, so it’s not like we’re in constant touch with our investors in the same way that a VC would be with their portfolio companies. It was more like a group of angels that supported us in the beginning. Nobody was really pushing for a sale because it’s not like we were looking to sell. Not even myself.”
On a call, Kutsal told me: “It’s exciting. We’ve been working on this for the last eight or nine months and the pandemic made this hard, but we managed to sign everything. I always wanted to expand to different regions into Europe and at the end of 2020 I called Robin.”
He said Webrazzi’s technology stack was a major factor in the deal: “We have so many technologies. We have our own CMS content management system, online event platform, our own native advertising solutions, and everything. At one point I realized Robin had a great team but no technology of his own, so this was a major factor in the deal.”
He said the merged entity now plans to expand further in Europe, possibly Russia, and the MENA region.