Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has announced that it has invested $200 million in Forbes, a global media company, focusing on business, investing, technology, entrepreneurship, leadership, and lifestyle.
The funds will help Forbes execute on its plan to merge with a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, in the first quarter of this year. According to Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao in a tweet, “our investment in Forbes is to help them build Web3 infrastructure in the coming years.”
However, analysts see this as a potential conflict of interests in the new arrangement as Binance had sued Forbes back in 2020 for defamation, later dropping the case.
In response to this, Changpeng Zhao said, “Forbes editorial independence is and will always be sacrosanct. The strength of the Forbes brand and our investment depends on that continued independence.”
According to Forbes, Binance’s strategic investment will be through Binance’s assumption of subscription agreements representing $200 million of commitments in the $400 million private investment in public equity (“PIPE”) that was previously announced along with Forbes’ intention to go public via a business combination with Magnum Opus.
In addition, “the transactions with Magnum Opus and Binance are expected to help Forbes maximize its brand and enterprise values and use its proprietary technology stack and analytics to convert readers into long-term, engaged customers of the platform, including through memberships and recurring subscriptions to premium content and highly targeted product offerings.”
“Forbes is committed to demystifying the complexities and providing helpful information about blockchain technologies and all emerging digital assets,” said Mike Federle, CEO, Forbes. “With Binance’s investment in Forbes, we now have the experience, network, and resources of the world’s leading crypto exchange and one of the world’s most successful blockchain innovators. Forbes, already a resource for people interested in the emerging world of digital assets, can become a true leader in the field with their help.”
“As Web 3 and blockchain technologies move forward and the crypto market comes of age we know that media is an essential element to build widespread consumer understanding and education. We look forward to bolstering Forbes’ Digital initiatives, as they evolve into a next-level investment insights platform,” said Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao, Founder and CEO, Binance.
As part of this transaction, Patrick Hillmann, Chief Communications Officer for Binance, and Bill Chin, Head of Binance Labs, the Venture Capital Arm, and Incubator of Binance, will join the Forbes Board of Directors.