NYT Company - Investment Strategies
The New York Times Company shows a preference for investing in start-up companies that are operating in the digital space. These companies are generally those involved in the industries of online content publication, journalism, digital business tools, and data analytics. These companies tend to be quite small in size, having an employee count of less than 50, however sometimes they invest in companies that have more, although typically not more than 250 employees. They make both late stage and early-stage investments and occasionally reinvest in the same company. They generally invest locally, in and around New York City, but occasionally make investments elsewhere.
Also, NYT Company tends to make investments in companies that have been active for a couple of years. However, they have occasionally made investments in a company the same year that company was founded. Overtime, NYT Company has focused their investments more towards online publications and content platforms, which has changed from prior to 2015, when their investment activities were more focused in the realm of business tools and data analytics.
Information which directly states NYT Company's criteria for making investments was not found to be publicly available. Despite this, we were able to triangulate an understanding of what their investment preferences likely are by analyzing information contained within the company's annual reports, the company website, and by conducting a data analysis of the companies they have invested in since 2012.
In order to locate an answer to your question, we first attempted to look for any general information NYT Company has given regarding the nature of their investment strategies. We were able to locate some general insights in their annual reports. Next, we utilized the NYT Company's website and Crunchbase to locate any information regarding which companies they have invested in. We aimed to compile the most comprehensive list possible. For each of the companies identified as far back as 2012, we located information about each of the companies and compiled this information into a spreadsheet. We then analyzed this spreadsheet for trends, which we assume indicate a preference for investing in certain types of companies. We used this as a proxy to make an analytical assumption for what types of criteria NYT Company is likely looking for in their investment recipients. Below, you will find a deep dive of our findings.
In this spreadsheet, we collected data for each of the identified companies' size, industry, revenue, founding day and location. We also collected information on New York Time's investments in these companies, such as the stage of the investment, the size of the total funding round, the year of this investment. Crunchbase, Owler, and trusted media sites provided this information. However, revenues were not always available for all the companies as many of them are private companies, which often do not disclose their financial reports.
We also looked for financial benefits or other statements given by NYT Company regarding the purposes of these specific investments. However, this information was lacking. We first looked through trusted news resources and press releases for information pertaining to these investments. However, this search only revealed a very small number of insights, none of which were very relevant to this request. Based on this lack of information, it appears that the NYT Company does not often make public announcements regarding their all of their investments, as even the investments page on their website only features a handful of the investments they have made, many of which we identified as have been made prior to 2013, according to the information we collected in the spreadsheet.
However, in order to conduct comprehensive research in seeking information pertaining to financial benefits and reasons for investment decisions, we also analyzed NYT Company's annual reports from 2016-2012. The 2017 report has not yet been published. Additionally, we did not locate any information showing that NYT Company invested in any companies during 2017.
In each of these annual reports, we searched for any information pertaining to their investments and the companies they invested in during those years. Below, we will discuss our findings from these annual reports, as well as provide an analysis of data contained within the spreadsheet.
nyt company's investment strategy
The company's 2016 annual report states that their investments in general, are made with the intention of supporting their growth and that they aim to protect the investments they have made in "original newsgathering and storytelling", which they believe is what makes their publication "indispensable."
This statement is interesting to consider, given that many of the companies they have invested in operate within the storytelling, journalism, publishing, and content creation industries. This is especially true for the companies NYT Company has most recently invested in. We assume this shows a strong preference for investing in companies which provide services which are of value to NYT Company's business. We did locate some evidence suggesting that NYT Company may have some interest in collaborating with their investment partners. Their 2016 annual report further states that they are working to further their "strategy of producing the world’s finest journalism along with innovative products and services to bring that journalism to the world." We feel this could serve as a motivation for collaborating with their investment recipients, as nearly all the companies they have invested in appear to be innovative, startups which are operating in the digital space.
NTY Company expresses that it faces overwhelming challenges in building and maintaining the advanced and innovative technologies and digital infrastructure required to keep them competitive in a rapidly changing, technologically advancing market. This is further interesting to note, as NYC Company has made investments in a number of digital platforms including those operating in the areas of business intelligence, digital marketing, and analytics.
NTY Company appears also to be investing in companies which could be of interest to them in terms of acquisition in the future. Their most recent annual report states that they acquired HelloSociety, Fake Love, The Wirecutter and The Sweethome in 2016. The report further states:
"In order to position our business to take advantage of growth opportunities, we engage in discussions, evaluate opportunities and enter into agreements for possible acquisitions, divestitures, investments and other transactions. We may also consider the acquisition of, or investment in, specific properties, businesses or technologies that fall outside our traditional lines of business and diversify our portfolio, including those that may operate in new and
developing industries, if we deem such properties sufficiently attractive."
After searching exhaustively through each of NYT Company's annual reports, we did not locate any direct mention regarding the individual companies they have invested in. The information they provide regarding their investment strategies is regarding their more general investment strategy.
investment data analysis
Looking at the spreadsheet, you will see that we have compiled data for NYC Company's investments as far back as 2012. We have also included the names of companies they have invested in prior to 2012, simply to serve as a reference. However, we have not conducted a deep dive of these companies. The years these older investments were made have been provided if the information was readily available.
In some cases, we were not able to locate the years of these investments, as several of these investments appear on NYT Company's website, but do not appear in Crunchbase. NYT Company's website does not provide specifics regarding these investments.
Below, you will find our analysis of the data contained in the spreadsheet. You can access the spreadsheet here.
Looking at the data that is available, it appears that NYT Company shows a preference for investing in companies which have less than 50 employees. However, in some cases they have invested in companies which have a larger number of employees, typically less than 250. Information regarding the size of these companies was located using Crunchbase.
In terms of revenue, NYT Times appears to show a preference for investing in companies that have revenues in the low millions, and sometimes less than one million. They do not appear to be investing in any large enterprises, based on the data that was publicly available. Information pertaining to revenue was located using Owler.
As far as geographical location, NYT Company typically invests in companies that are located in and around New York City, which might indicate a preference for investing locally. However, in some cases, they have made in investments in California, as well as one company located in Washington D.C. There is only one instance of NYT Company investing in a foreign company, Blendle, located in the Netherlands. Company headquarters were located via Crunchbase.
There does not appear to be any consistent trend regarding the age of the companies when NYT Company makes the initial investment, aside from the fact that they are clearly investing in startups. In a few cases, NYT Company has invested in a company the year it was founded, while in other cases they have invested several years after the company was founded. Most of the companies NYT Company has invested in were founded in the years surrounding 2010. They have only invested in one company that has been founded within the past three years, called Scroll. Crunchbase provided the years of the initial investments, as well as the years the companies were founded.
NYT Company typically makes investments in the earlier funding rounds, Seed and Series A investments. However, they have made a handful of later stage investments, including in some cases where they had also made an investment at an earlier stage. Crunchbase was used to locate the investment stages.
NYT Company made a significant portion of these investments between 2014 and 2016. Investments made during 2012 and 2013 were very minimal. We found no investments made during 2017, however it is possible these investments have not yet been publicly recorded.
changes over time
Based on the information contained within their annual report and the analysis of the data collected in the spreadsheet, it appears that NYT Company is highly focused on innovation and keeping up with changing technology during recent years. Their website states: "The New York Times Company selectively invests in digital media startups to support our innovation efforts."
Their investment activities remain fairly consistent between 2014 and 2016. One significant change that sticks out is that NYT Company was investing more in digital business tools and data analytics platforms during the earlier years between 2012 and 2014. Around 2015, they began to invest more in digital content creation platforms and digital publications.
Another item of note is that their most recent investments have been in companies that are quite small. Previously they were investing in a greater range of different sized companies. However, this could merely be an illusion in the data which might instead just be reflecting the companies' growth overtime.
While information which directly states NYT Company's criteria for making investments was not found to be publicly available, we were able to triangulate an understanding of what their investment preferences likely are by analyzing information contained within the company's annual reports, company website, and by conducting a data analysis of the companies they have invested in since 2012.