Binance, the world’s biggest digital currency exchange, said today that it is spending $200 million in Forbes Media LLC, the publisher of Forbes magazine, in one of the most unusual transactions in recent memory.
Forbes and Magnus Opus Acquisition Ltd., the special-purpose acquisition firm Forbes is set to combine with later this quarter, will share the $200 million strategic investment. Binance’s $200 million will make up half of the $400 million in private-public equity investment made as part of the SPAC agreement.
Forbes is pitching the deal to help it optimize its brand and business value while also using its technology stack and analytics. Forbes claims that by doing so, it would be able to convert readers into long-term, engaged platform consumers, including via memberships and regular subscriptions to premium content and highly targeted product offers.
The motivation for Binance seems to be a mix of education and support for Forbes’ digital initiatives.
“With Binance’s investment in Forbes, we now have the experience, network and resources of the world’s leading crypto exchange and one of the world’s most successful blockchain innovators,” stated Mike Federle, Forbes’ CEO. “Forbes, already a resource for people interested in the emerging world of digital assets, can become a true leader in the field with their help.”
As Web3 and blockchain technologies advance and the cryptocurrency market grows, media is an important component to build greater consumer awareness, stated Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao, founder and CEO of Binance. While Forbes evolved into a next-level investment insights platform, Zhao wanted to strengthen Forbes’ digital initiatives.
It makes sense to have Forbes as a partly owned channel for promoting Binance and the larger blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem. Forbes’ notion of becoming crypto investing insights site is also intriguing. Forbes’ name might be used to create a cryptocurrency service.
Others, on the other hand, are skeptical. According to Martin Peers of The Information, the transaction is intended to save Forbes’ SPAC deal from a BuzzFeed Inc.-style disgrace. Buzzfeed went public through SPAC in December, and its stock has been down since then.