Ben Lerer – Next Generation of Media Moguls
Ben is the founder of Thrillist, an online media company covering travel, food, drinks, and other forms of entertainment. He is currently the CEO of Group Nine, a digital holding company that works with The Dodo, Seeker, Thrillist, and NowThis. In 2016, after David Zaslav’s Discovery invested $100 million in the firm, Group Nine earned a valuation of about $600 million.
In addition to running Group Nine and Thrillist, Lerer is a managing partner a Lerer Hippeau Ventures, a fund that invests in startups such as Casper and PureWow, according to CNNtech. Clearly, Lerer is a media leader and entrepreneur with big dreams and future ambitions.
Lerer acknowledges his father's influence on his success. For most of his childhood, Ben's father worked on starting Robinson Lerer Montgomery, one of the top PR firms in the country, where he worked with famous individuals such as Michael Milken. After Robinson Lerer Montgomery, Ben's father assisted in the AOL-Time Warner merger as a top executive, and then went off to start the Huffington Post.
Ariana Huffington & Ben's father, Ken Lerer
Being close to his father, Lerer adopted a similar mindset to his, although he worked for Andre Balazs, a corporate residential developer after graduating from Penn. During his time there, his idea for Thrillist came to life when he started to search for a magazine that would interest people like himself. Lerer mentioned in an interview with Business Insider that, at the time, girls were reading DailyCandy, a newsletter that provided daily information on hip and trendy events. It later sold for $125 million. Eventually, Lerer envisioned himself creating a newsletter for guys about “how to have fun in Manhattan” for people his age (22 years old at the time) and sent off his first newsletter to 600 people from his contacts list telling them that they should go to a restaurant El Rey Del Sol on Cinco de Mayo.
Thrillist has come a long way since. It has been ranked #35 on America’s Most Promising Companies by Forbes. It is now make roughly $100 million in annual revenue and, more importantly, is a daily read for our team at Rebellion. We look forward to following Ben and his team as Group Nine Media takes over the world!
A recent corporate retreat for Group Nine
Written by Albert Daniel Shub & Edited by Rachel Weissman
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