|Formerly||Red F (1999-2003)|
|Headquarters||Indian Land, South Carolina, U.S.|
|Ric Elias (CEO)|
Red Ventures is an American media company, which owns and operates brands such as Lonely Planet, CNET, ZDNet, The Points Guy, Healthline and Bankrate. Red Ventures focuses on sites that dispense news, advice, and reviews. The company's corporate headquarters is located in Indian Land, South Carolina, a suburb of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Red Ventures was formed on September 29, 1999, in Fort Mill, South Carolina by Ric Elias and Dan Feldstein. Before its 2020 acquisitions, the company had grown into an international presence with more than 100 brands, 3,000 employees, and operations in the United Kingdom and Brazil.
In 2015, the company got a $250 million investment from Silver Lake. That same year, it doubled the size of its headquarters and bought postal services company Imagitas from Pitney Bowes.
Red Ventures acquired Bankrate Inc. for $1.24 billion in cash in a deal announced July 3, 2017.
On September 14, 2020, Red Ventures agreed to purchase the CNET Media Group from ViacomCBS for $500 million. On December 1, 2020, Red Ventures bought Lonely Planet from Tennessee-based NC2 Media.
In 2021, the company had 4,500 employees and 751 million readers per month.
In 2023 The Verge described the business model of the company as "publish[ing] content designed to rank highly in Google search for "high-intent" queries and ... monet[izing] that traffic with lucrative affiliate links.", with a particular focus on financial content such as credit cards. The characterization came after the website Futurism found several articles published by Red Ventures properties, including CNET, were quietly written by artificial intelligence software, with the stories containing numerous inaccuracies and instances of plagiarism. Red Ventures announced layoffs at CNET a few weeks after the reports from The Verge and Futurism, which the company says were unrelated.
Futurism additionally highlighted undisclosed AI-generated, SEO-focused content produced by Red Ventures's education division (internally RV EDU). This content promotes schools with which Red Ventures maintains affiliate agreements, such as University of Phoenix (a for-profit college owned by Apollo Global Management) and Liberty University (founded by conservative activist and Baptist pastor Jerry Falwell). Websites operated by RV EDU include BestColleges.com, TheBestSchools.org, NurseJournal.org, ComputerScience.org, and Psychology.org, "as well as numerous sites with domain names that imply they're nonprofits".
In 2015, Red Ventures acquired MyMove (formerly Imagitas), in large part due to their exclusive partnership with USPS. In 2011, Imagitas formed a 10 year exclusive partnership with the USPS to facilitate the official Change of Address process, which roughly 40 million people use each year. This partnership has been heavily criticized by users on the internet, primarily due to the predatory nature of the user experience deployed on the USPS site. Users are forced to provide their data, in exchange for deals and advertisements, without the option to opt-out. Critics of the experience claim that it is intentionally done by MyMove and is misleading for consumers, who are led to believe they need to provide this information in order to change their address, or update their voter registration form. Furthermore, in May of 2023, Red Ventures agreed to pay the United States $2.75 million to resolve a whistleblower's allegations that they violated the False Claims Act  by underpaying on contracts connected to the USPS change-of-address process.