Bustle Digital Group acquires small science and technology publication Inverse; five staffers were laid off
- Bustle Digital Group, which has recently been buying struggling digital properties, has acquired science and entertainment site Inverse.
- The site just laid off five staffers, according to multiple sources.
- Inverse will be overseen by Josh Topolsky, whose site The Outline was acquired by BDG earlier in the year.
- Read more stories like this on Business Insider.
Inverse, a small digital publisher focused on science and entertainment, was acquired by Bryan Goldberg's Bustle Digital Group, according to a Digiday report and a source close to the matter.
The day the purchase was reported, five staffers were laid off from the publication - two editorial staffers who comprised the Innovation desk and two business-side employees, four current and former staffers told Business Insider. Back in August 2018, Inverse cut six staffers.
Bustle's Josh Topolsky, who will oversee Inverse, told Digiday that he would keep "most everybody." According to a source, remaining staffers were told in an all-hands meeting that they would receive offers from BDG and that the company structure will largely remain intact.
Goldberg told Business Insider of the acquisition: "Inverse has built a very large audience in a critical vertical - Technology. When we combine that with The Outline's incredible product stack and Josh Topolsky's deep experience in the category, the results are going to be impressive. This is the right combination of team, technology, and product. I'm excited to see what they do together."
Inverse was founded by Dave Nemetz, who founded Bleacher Report with Goldberg and will stay on as EVP of the site, according to Digiday. Nemetz did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
"BDG has some big plans to expand into new areas of coverage, to move into the culture and innovation space," Nemetz told Digiday.
Bustle Digital Group has acquired three other publications in the last year, including Topolsky's The Outline, Nylon, and Mic.
Bustle's acquisitions have been controversial or focused on struggling media companies. In November, Mic laid off nearly all the staff ahead of its acquisition by Bustle. Before some staff were rehired, staffers speculated to Business Insider that the decision may have been influenced by Mic's union. The Outline cut all of its staff writers before Topolsky announced that it would found another tech-focused publication called Input.