Austin’s Spiceworks is Bought by Ziff Davis

Jay Hallberg, Spiceworks Co-founder and CEO

Thirteen years ago, four tech workers in Austin founded Spiceworks, a social network for IT professionals.

That company grew to employ 450 people and it also raised $111 million in venture capital funding including $57 million from Goldman Sachs in 2014.

This week, Jay Hallberg, one of the co-founders and its CEO, announced in a blog post, that Spiceworks entered into an agreement to be acquired by Ziff Davis B2B, a division of J2 Global. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

“As you probably know, Ziff Davis has a storied history in developing and running some of the world’s leading B2B and B2C technology websites including PCMag, IGN, Mashable, Speedtest.net, and others that serve tens of millions of

visitors every month,” according to Hallberg’s post. ”And for technology brands, Ziff Davis B2B brings 20 years of expertise in performance marketing and lead generation solutions that power over a million connections between businesses and brands annually.”

In his blog post, Halberg warned that layoffs are imminent. But he did not provide specific details.

“Spiceworks and Ziff Davis B2B each bring unique competencies and talented personnel to the combined company. But we both recognize our businesses have some similarities and overlapping functions and skillsets that need to be addressed and integrated if we’re to build a long-term, sustainable business,” Halberg wrote. “So, we’ve made the difficult decision to combine and/or reduce some roles at both organizations. Neither organization takes these decisions lightly, and we’ve focused our efforts on being compassionate and supportive during this time. I would like to thank the team for their can-do spirit, commitment to our vision, and to the lasting contributions that will carry us forward.”

Spiceworks last announced layoffs in late 2016. It cut 54 workers from its workforce of 450 at that time.

The company plans to share more details at Spiceworld, its annual event in Austin at the Austin Convention Center on Sept. 23.