Forbes, the 104-year-old magazine and digital publisher, has secured a $200 million investment from Binance, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, the companies said Thursday.
The funds will help Forbes execute on its plan to merge with Magnum Opus Acquisition, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, in the first quarter of the year.
Once the deal closes, Forbes would become a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange trading under the ticker symbol “FRBS.”
Investors have grown skeptical of SPAC deals in the last year, and in particular of media deals amid broader stock market declines.
Forbes said that Binance will replace half of the $400 million in commitments from institutional investors announced by the company in August.
The transactions with Magnum Opus and Binance are expected to help Forbes maximize its brand and enterprise values and use its proprietary technology stack and analytics to bring in more long-term readers via subscriptions and other membership-only offers.
The Binance deal shows the influence of nascent crypto sector, which has seen rising valuations and has crowned a new crop of billionaires amid global interest in digital currencies.
While crypto companies have inked deals with celebrities and affixed their names to sports arenas, this is the sector’s first major investment in a traditional US media property.
Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao, whose been dubbed the world’s richest crypto investor with a $96 billion net worth, said that as crypto “comes of age,” media becomes and “essential element to build widespread consumer understanding.” He also said that his company will “bolster” Forbes’ digital initiatives.
“Forbes is committed to demystifying the complexities and providing helpful information about blockchain technologies and all emerging digital assets,” said Forbes CEO Mike Federle added. “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.”