Recurrent Ventures acquires JancisRobinson.com
Miami-based digital media company Recurrent Ventures has acquired Master of Wine Jancis Robinson’s website, JancisRobinson.com, for an undisclosed sum.
The website joins Saveur, Domino and BobVila.com within the Recurrent stable.
Founded in 2000 as an independent publisher, JancisRobinson.com has steadily grown its subscriber base of wine enthusiasts across 82 countries. The website provides free comprehensive guides to wine regions, grape varieties and vintages. The content will remain free to access under its new owner, and there will be an increased focus on wines from the US.
Members have access to over 200,000 wine reviews, a steady stream of informed articles, and an exclusive version of The Oxford Companion to Wine, of which Robinson is the founding editor.
“Jancis is one of the most respected voices in the wine world and we’re thrilled that she’s selected Recurrent to shepherd her brand into its next chapter. We’re excited to build upon JancisRobinson.com’s track record of success by providing the support, resources, and expertise the brand needs to grow without changing its editorial mission and integrity,” said Recurrent CEO, Lance Johnson.
“This important acquisition diversifies our digital subscription businesses, provides Saveur with a great companion brand, and expands our global presence, which is something we’ve been working toward for some time,” he added.
Robinson will remain editor-in-chief and will continue to oversee her team of over 15 global contributors, including seven Masters of Wine.
The business will continue to be subscriber-supported and will begin expanding its digital initiatives and upgrading its user experience next year.
“I’m extremely proud of all that JancisRobinson.com has grown into. We’re now at the point where we need a bigger platform to see the site reach its full potential. This partnership will allow me to focus on what I enjoy most: tasting and writing about wine,” Robinson said.
“I’m thrilled to be working with Recurrent, a dynamic, fast-growing company run by talented, ambitious people who share my ideals of quality, integrity and sustainability. Our members have been the backbone of our company and they will continue to be our primary focus as we welcome even more wine lovers to JancisRobinson.com,” she added.
Speaking exclusively to db, Robinson revealed that she first contemplated selling her website a year ago.
“I started to think about the future a year ago. Then things stepped up a notch early in 2021 when we realised that our friend and longstanding JR.com member whom we knew was extremely smart, was an M&A specialist with a major transatlantic law firm.
“He and I then went through the process to engage an investment bank who went into the usual process of an offer. I deliberately looked for a US investment bank because I believe that the most obvious potential for growth for JR.com is in the US. In the end there were about nine serious bidders but Recurrent ticked all the boxes,” she said.
She also said the sale did not equate to her taking a step back from the site. “It will be 100% business as usual in terms of editorial. Like the rest of the team, I will continue to work my socks off but, for me personally, without the distraction of running the business.”
While unable to reveal any details on how the website will change shape in the coming months, Robinson told db that members won’t be short-changed.
“There are all sorts of little improvements I’ve been dying to implement and now can due to increased tech capability,” she said.
Robinson MW is one of the world’s most influential wine critics. She has written over 20 books on the subject and won six James Beard awards.
In 2003 she was awarded an OBE by the Queen, on whose cellar she now advises. She founded JancisRobinson.com in 2000 as an educational tool for wine lovers.
Founded in 2018, digital media firm Recurrent is headquartered in Miami, with offices in New York and San Francisco, and a virtual-first team across the US.
The company’s portfolio includes 17 digital media brands across automotive, home, lifestyle, outdoors, science and tech.