The man who sold for $540 million has a new media startup, and he just poached a top New York Times executive


Vinit headshot

Some Spider

Vinit Bharara

Vinit Bharara made it big when Amazon bought his company Quidsi - the e-commerce startup responsible for,,, and other sites - for $540 million in 2010. He built the company with founder, Marc Lore.


Now Bharara is trying to launch a digital media empire.

Bharara started Some Spider last fall, as the parent company to an eclectic blog called In the past six months, Some Spider has closed Cafe but launched a new blog called The Mid, which targets people in "the messy middle of life." It also recently acquired Scary Mommy, a parenting blog that averages 10 million unique visitors per month.

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Bharara plans to keep expanding Some Spider's blog network with more demographic-focused publications, each of which will aim to establish really "personal, emotional connections with their readers."

Some Spider

Business Insider

Paul Smurl and Vinit Bharara

Today marks another important step forward. Some Spider just snagged New York Times digital lead Paul Smurl as its new COO and president. Smurl is leaving the New York Times after nearly 12 years because he believes in Some Spider's relationship-focused mission.


"I'm really excited about the approach and the model that we're crafting as we go," he told Business Insider. "It's very different from the way a lot of media companies are approaching media and the business model today."

Smurl and Bharara first met thanks to an intro from from Vinit's brother, US attorney Preet Bharara. They shared dinner around the holidays, and then that dinner let to several more excited discussions

"I finally convinced him to jump ship on the New York Times," Bharara says with a laugh.

Some Spider is currently in the process of moving Scary Mommy's content into its custom content management system, called Monsoon. Besides the home-grown CMS, which will allow the company to quickly launch or acquire new blogs, Bharara and his team have also built a custom analytics system called Abacus.

Scary Mommy

Scary Mommy

Here are the kinds of stories you'll find on Scary Mommy

Because Some Spider's blogs will all be more focused on the quality of their relationships with readers instead of simply page views, Abacus will focus on the number of returning users, their time spent on each site, and the amount of sharing and referrals per reader. One of the things that made Scary Mommy so attractive, Bharara says, was how engaged its audience is.


"Our focus will definitely always be on establishing personal connections with people," Bharara says, adding that future blogs will continue to focus on specialized demographics (when pressed, Smurl and Bharara say that students, veterans, teachers, or adult children taking care of aging parents, would all be examples of communities that Some Spider could eventually target).

Bharara has been funding Some Spider himself since launch with about $5 million of his Quidsi fortune, but plans to fundraise early this summer. The company has a "multi-pronged" revenue strategy, that will expand beyond just ads. The startup's name, interestingly, comes not from the idea of forming a web of blogs, but as a play off the famous "some pig" line from "Charlotte's Web."

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.