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This article was published on October 4, 2008

Financial blog acquired for a mere $15 million

Financial blog acquired for a mere $15 million
Mircea Goia
Story by

Mircea Goia

Mircea Goia was born in Romania and emigrated to US in 2005. He lives in Phoenix, AZ and works as web developer. His is involved in several Mircea Goia was born in Romania and emigrated to US in 2005. He lives in Phoenix, AZ and works as web developer. His is involved in several online projects and one of them is Mircea shows a keen interest in commercial Web development such as social networks, viral marketing, e-commerce, online video (and filmmaking). He can be reached on his personal website (for suggestions, news, tips).

“Blogging has become a major business” says Patrick de Laive in his post about the perfect WordPress theme. He couldn’t be more right, read on for some proof.

Bankaholic, a banking and financial blog, was bought by Bankrate for $15 million. They paid $12.4 million up-front, with up to an additional $2.5 million earn-out payment available at the attainment of certain performance metrics in the next 12 months.

One man show

That’s a sweet payment for Johns Wu, the owner and single employee of the almost two-year old, WordPress powered blog.

Bankaholic provides rate information on savings products, such as certificates of deposit, savings accounts, and money market accounts, as well as insurance quotes and a comparison of the best credit card offers, which are currently powered by Bankrate. In addition, Bankaholic offers consumers advice and information that allows consumers to comment and rate banks and their promotions through social networking features.

Bankrate and Bankaholic had a previous business relationship and it seems Bankrate was so pleased with the results that the company decided to acquire Bankaholic. “Bankaholic is ranked high in natural search for both deposit and credit card keywords. We believe their organic traffic will increase our deposit and credit card revenue, and with a high composition of free traffic, will help to improve margins.” stated Thomas R. Evans, President and CEO of Bankrate.

Everybody wants financial info now

In these harsh economic times, everyone is seeking financial and banking information. Bankaholic is well positioned on this market, so Bankrate might have made a great deal. shows a traffic of about 300,000 unique visitors last month from the US (double that and you have an approximate number of visitors from the whole world)

The management and operations of Bankaholic will be taken over by Bankrate immediately and the founder, Johns Wu, will be working with Bankrate until the transition is complete (and maybe after).

Too expensive?

This acquisition will inspire a lot of bloggers (financial bloggers or not). Although some say the price paid was too high. I think Bankrate can improve the blog by bringing in a team of financial journalists. More quality will probably mean more revenue.

Noah Kagan, lives in the same Berkeley dorm as Johns, gives us the moral of this story in a post titled “Bankaholic sells to Bankrate for 15 million and no one noticed”.

Focus. Johns started out just doing Credit Card rates and became the #1 term for it on Google. Then he expanded to other banking categories.
Relevance. There are 1,000s of personal finance sites. Most of the people just consume some information. You go to his site to find deals and sign up for them. That’s the point.
Monetize. Johns picked a lucrative category where clicks will pay out $50+.

Well, Noah, The Next Web noticed this and congratulates Johns, even now it’s a bit late!