Still Growing Strong: Ben Lerer

Ben Lerer, co-founder and CEO of Thrillist Media Group, which merged Thrillist, the men’s digital lifestyle publication, with Jackthreads, a men’s members-only shopping club.

We spoke to you in 2010. What was your company focus at that time?

We spent most of that year working to bring our two companies, Jackthreads and Thrillist, together and investing in an infrastructure that supported both a content and commerce business.

Where are you now?

In early 2012, we merged the two companies into the Thrillist Media Group. We’re now looking at our members and subscribers as one big audience of men, and delivering unique advertising solutions that allow brands to connect with our guys in really meaningful ways, locally and nationally, online and offline, through content and commerce.

We’re now at around 225 employees, reaching more than 5 million daily subscribers and doubling revenue year over year. In August, we announced that we had raised $13.1 million in series A funding. Prior to this round, we had raised under $2 million collectively from The Pilot Group’s first fund in 2005.

What’s ahead for the business?

In the next year, we’re planning to continue our investment into content expansion across Thrillist and Jackthreads; progress into new commerce categories; lean heavily into mobile development; and continue to hire across the organization.

We’re going to keep working toward building Thrillist Media Group into a paradigm of what a modern media company looks like, and continue looking into various ways to expand our breadth of verticals and platforms to serve our core demographic as well as we possibly can.

Where do you see the future of digital media going?

The future of digital media is mobile, and it’s really already here. Over the next year, we’re going to be investing a great deal into mobile development across all properties and moving forward. All decisions will be made within a mobile-state-of-mind.