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Gigaom Shuts Down After Capital Runs Dry

After nearly a decade, one of the web’s major tech publications is closing its doors.

Gigaom ceased operations Monday evening after the company became insolvent and unable to pay its creditors.

Gigaom is winding down and its assets are now controlled by the company’s lenders,” said founder Om Malik in a statement. “It is not how you want the story of a company you founded to end.”

A statement on Gigaom’s homepage from the publication’s management elaborated further.

“As a result, the company is working with its creditors that have rights to all of the company’s assets as their collateral,” the publication’s management posted on its website at 5:57 PDT.  “All operations have ceased. We do not know at this time what the lenders intend to do with the assets or if there will be any future operations using those assets.”

Gigaom’s founder, Om Malik, left day-to-day operations of the website in February 2014 after raising $8 million in venture capital from VC firm True Ventures. As part of the deal he said he was joining the company’s board.

Malik said then that Gigaom would not serve at the “altar of pageviews” and instead base income on subscription revenues as well as a research division.

It appears that Gigaom’s upcoming event, Structure Data, is in the hands of trustees. Its fate is not clear at this time.

A sad day for the industry

During the past two years there’s been a boom in major funding rounds for online media operations. Vox Media, which publishes the titular Vox and The Verge posted a $46.5-million funding round in December. And that’s not an anomaly: going through the list of major web publications you’ll find investments in the tens of millions. Business Insider raised $30 million last year, Pando Daily brought in $4 million,  Buzzfeed secured nearly $40 million, Upworthy lined up $12 million, and Vice is now worth over $1 billion thanks to investments from old media companies.

But every bubble also brings in a bust. These new media companies have observed the harsh lessons learned by traditional media giants — which are all hemorrhaging cash — and can take steps not to repeat the same mistakes.

However, with big investments come big expectations. It’s a sad day for the media industry as a whole when a respected operation like Gigaom has to shut its doors. Let’s hope that all of these media companies that are sitting on big VC investments can post returns to satisfy creditors, as nobody wants more journalists out of work.