Silicon Alley Insider Takes On TechCrunch & Co

July 27, 2007 by Douglas A. McIntyre

Henry Blodget of Internet Outsider and Kevin Ryan who made a fortune as the CEO of DoubleClick have launched a new site, Silicon Alley Insider. The site claims to be in beta, but it looks much further along than that.

While the new site appears to be aimed at tech news on the East Coast, a reading of the last few days of articles shows that SAI has an interest in tech and media news no matter where it originates. It is, in this way, not unlike leading tech blog TechCrunch and several other large sites that focus on developments in the tech, VC, internet, and media businesses.

A look at the early Alexa data on the site shows that its three month average traffic ranking is over 2 million, but for the most recent day the figure is 54,389, a remarkably rapid rise. SAI still has a great distance to go to catch TechCrunch which is ranked 641st among all sites.

BusinessWeek puts monthly revenue for TechCrunch at $200,000. At an annual 10x valuation, the would make the company worth about $24 million, about what AOL paid for Weblogs, a group of blogs including Engadget. Ryan certainly has the money to make a modest investment in the start-up, and, if SAI continues to grow, it could be worth a great deal in a year.

TechCrunch now relies to heavily on Blodget’s posts. The site ofter has ten or more posts a day, which is an essential hook to keep readers coming back. The site often has insights and information earlier than competing blogs.

SAI has added Forbes veterans Dan Frommer and Peter Kafka. They are going to have to pull on the oars as hard as Blodget is if the site is going to be a success.

But, SAI is a competitive threat to established tech and media blogs. It has the staff and deep pockets to make a considerable mark.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at douglasamcintyre@247wallst.com.