Vice Media is raising over $85 million in fresh capital from existing investors, as talks to go public via a special purpose acquisition company have ended for now, according to people familiar with the situation. As part of the fundraising, Vice’s co-founder, Shane Smith, has agreed to give up his voting control, said the people. He remains chairman of the board.
The media firm had been hoping to raise money by going public through a merger with a SPAC backed by 7GC & Co., but a slowdown in the once-hot SPAC market has ended those discussions for now, one of the people said. The existing investors, which include James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems, TPG, TCV and Sixth Street Partners, agreed to invest in Vice to help it get to profitability. The valuation of the latest round couldn’t be learned. Vice raised money at a $5.7 billion valuation in 2017, but it has fallen significantly since then.