Across global business markets, there are aggregators of all types—review aggregators like Rotten Tomatoes, real estate collectives like Zillow, and Amazon business aggregators like Thrasio. Deepening the aggregator market, are startup companies like TreasureHunter—a so-called digital demand aggregator.
This firm represents a new and growing business model within the aggregator industry. This year, the startup has announced closing USD 8 million funding around a team of professionals who will work to acquire, operate, and grow content websites. Individuals investing in such businesses are predicting a future complete with higher quality internet content, higher “digital property” values, and increased competition on the web.
Content Sites Generate Passive Income
Individuals’ trust in mainstream media is spiraling. Instead, people seek information from thought leaders and trustworthy teams of influencers inside a variety of industries. While delivering truthful content, these digital asset owners are generating revenue from display advertisements, affiliate marketing, cost-per-click deals, and more. Even more interesting, most digital assets in this position started after website owners consistently did things they loved and wrote about them. Whether it’s cooking, sports, or travel, entrepreneurs who have self-started their own plot of digital property are now cashing in on their passion-projects.
Owners of content websites can use their informative blogs to generate traffic, cultivate an audience, and monetize information. When it comes to aggregation, businesses can offer standardized processes, a larger team, and bigger budgets.
“The need for high-converting traffic will increase over the next few years, as the ecommerce sector grows, and competition in ecommerce increases,” said Benjamin Schardt, TreasureHunter’s Co-Founder & Co-CEO. “We believe there is a bright future for digital demand aggregation.”
Currently in 2022, 80% of ecommerce advertisers thrive off affiliate partnerships with content websites. As ecommerce continues to grow, there will be a continual need to stimulate sales with content. What’s more, 40% of ecommerce merchants designate affiliate programs as their top acquisition channel when it comes to sales.
The Modern Day Treasure Hunt
Today’s hidden gems are less likely to be found underground or under the sea. Instead, treasure is being hunted down on the worldwide web. The “gems” being unearthed are content websites or blogs that generate passive income–many of these blogs rake in hundreds of thousands in USD each year.
Many sites are run by individual bloggers or small teams. In order to scale up, leaders at aggregator firms enlist their large teams of SEO practitioners, marketing mavens, content writers, social media experts, website developers, salespeople, and advertising professionals. Aggregators like that of TreasureHunter invest in websites and creative teams in hopes that the efforts are rewarded with greater traffic and higher advertising income.
The TreasureHunting Process
For TreasureHunter specifically, the secret map begins with the team’s proprietary method of mining data. Sourcing solid leads is the first step toward uncovering “hidden treasure” online.
Next, TreasureHunter’s M&A team digs into a due diligence effort to determine the value of found assets and efficiently close deals with website owners. These deals often allow asset owners to join the aggregator’s team in growing their online gem, or the deal may allow the blogger to step away to new pursuits. After asset acquisition, the team makes it a point to assess and preserve the “DNA” of the content website they’ve discovered.
“We know that when we step in, the blog has already gained an organic following and invested audience,” explained Schardt. “We want to keep that established base and implement our team of professionals to scale up.”
Using an asset’s well-established base combined with the versatile TreasureHunter team, the crew plans to grow each site’s value by 10x in a few years, asserted company leaders. In June 2021, TreasureHunter acquired the team’s first travel blog, called reisefroh.com. Currently, reisefroh’s revenue has seen an increase due to processes around sales optimization, traffic stimulation, and content management.
“In the future, we also hope to use our network and portfolio of sites to find comparable synergies that end in mutual growth,” said Schardt.
Luckily for aggregators, many of these sites are already profitable. Yet, the asset might have started as a side-business or passion project. In this case, bloggers often lead a small team that has reached operational limits. Aggregators like TreasureHunter intend to step-in and turn a business that started as a side-gig into a full-time project for their “well-oiled” team of professionals.
“We have goals to grow these assets 10x in the years after acquisition, ” concluded Schardt. “As we look forward, we intend to acquire several assets across North America, Europe, and all around the world.”