Forbes Media acquires stock prediction tool to help diversify its revenues

Digiday 02 Dec 2019 05:00

At the beginning of 2019, Forbes Media had just finished celebrating its most profitable year in a decade and had begun hunting for companies it could invest in or buy. Nearly a year later, it has closed its first deal.

The company has acquired a majority stake in Quantalytics AI Labs, a service that uses artificial intelligence to predict the performance of different kinds of financial instruments, including stocks, exchange-traded funds and cryptocurrencies.

The terms of the deal were not announced, but SEC filings indicate that earlier this month Quantalytics sold $3.9 million worth of equity to four unnamed parties. The same filings indicate that Forbes Media’s chief financial officer, Michael York, and Forbes Media’s mergers and acquisitions lead, Taha Ahmed, were named as directors of Quantalytics. Two years earlier, Quantalytics had sold equity in its company for $2.65 million.

The acquisition, Forbes’ first since acquiring The Memo in 2018, is part of a recent focus on diversifying its revenue streams. Over the past five years, the percentage of annual revenue Forbes earns from non-advertising sources has doubled, from 18% in 2014 to more than one-third in 2019, a source close to the company said.

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