Dotdash was already a sizeable player in the consumer content publishing space, owning such brands as The Spruce, Lifewire, TreeHugger and Liquor.com. This is the fifth acquisition for Dotdash since 2019. According to the press announcement, Simply Recipes and Serious Eats will keep using Fexy’s Relish shoppable recipe and menu-planning technology, and Relish will be added across The Spruce Eats.
Combined, Simply Recipes and Serious Eats reach more than 16 million people per month (comScore August 2020) the two companies reported in its press release. Dotdash is acquiring the 27 employees of Simply Recipe and Serious Eats, and plans to invest in both properties. Dotdash CEO Neil Vogel told Axios:
“To make a food site work now, you have to make GIFs. You have to have incredible video capabilities,” says Vogel. “You have to explore the cultural history of recipes and talk about nutrition. All these things you never had to do 5 years ago, but now you have to do them.”
Dotdash will continue to monetize the sites through advertising, though Vogel told Axios that the number and types of ads on both sites will be more optimized.
Fexy’s network of partner recipe sites also includes brands such as FoodieCrush, Recipe Girl and Macheesmo, which offers shoppable recipes via the Relish platform. Additionally, earlier this year at the height of pandemic panic-shopping, the company released an online tool that let you see if certain goods are in-stock at your local Target and Walmart. We reached out to Fexy Media to find out more about this deal from its end and will update this post as we hear back.
The pandemic has also provided an opportune time for Dotdash to bolster its recipe-related content. With COVID shutting down dine-in options at restaurants (and closing restaurants altogether), more people have been pushed into preparing more of their meals at home. Simply Recipes and Serious Eats are both big brand names in the world of food that should help Dotdash expand its reach.
UPDATE: an earlier version of this story listed recipe partner sites as being owned by Fexy.