Fairfax Media has bought a 25 per cent stake in local social network Nabo, joining the company’s other major shareholders which include Seven West Media and Westpac-backed venture capital firm Reinventure Group.
Nabo is designed to foster better relationships within local neighbourhoods and provides a platform for residents to connect with each other and discover what is happening in their local communities in a safe and friendly way.
The deal of undisclosed terms was described as a “compelling investment” by Fairfax’s managing director of Australian Publishing Media, Allen Williams.
“The digital business strongly aligns with Fairfax’s long history of connecting communities via hundreds of newspapers and websites across rural, regional and metropolitan areas,” Mr Williams said.
Nabo was launched in November 2014 and currently operates in 5800 suburbs across Australia. Its membership has grown by 720 per cent since January and the company has developed strategic partnerships with local councils and community-based organisations, like Crimestoppers NSW.
In December 2014, Fairfax Media New Zealand invested in a similar local social network called Neighbourly. The site attracted more than 130,000 neighbours in its first 18 months of operation.
Mr Williams said Nabo complemented Fairfax’s investment in Neighbourly and said the New Zealand site had achieved tremendous growth by leveraging Fairfax’s large-scale audiences.
“We believe Nabo has similar potential in the Australian market and we look forward to working closely with the team to strengthen its offering and achieve its full potential,” he said.
Nabo founder and CEO Adam Rigby welcomed Fairfax coming on board as a shareholder.
“With a long established and very well regarded media presence in Australia across online, print and radio, Fairfax is a great fit for Nabo as we continue national growth over the months ahead,” Mr Rigby said.