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We have officially entered the spin cycle.

Internet holding company IAC, chaired by media mogul Barry Diller, announced yesterday it will spin-off its Vimeo video unit to shareholders.

Strictly Business For Vimeo

Vimeo was started in 2004 as a side project for employees of the online comedy platform "CollegeHumor." The project was quickly scooped-up by IAC in 2006 as part of a larger acquisition.

Now known as the "other YouTube," Vimeo sells a suite of video-creation and editing tools to content creators and businesses to help build their online presence.

The pandemic has driven a surge in demand for software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies like Vimeo, which now boasts 1.5 million paying subscribers. That includes over 3,500 enterprise customers like Amazon, Starbucks, and Rite Aid.

Who's laughing now?

  • For the first nine months of 2020, Vimeo earned $199 million in revenue, up 41% vs. last year.
  • Vimeo recently raised $150 million from investors Thrive Capital and GIC at a valuation of $2.75 billion.

On the Q3 earnings call, IAC CEO Joey Levin asserted, "Clearly, Vimeo is now in control of its own destiny." Levin has also stated a spinoff would benefit Vimeo, as its rapid growth meant "access to capital inside of IAC will be much more expensive than access to capital outside of IAC."

The separation is expected to take place in the second quarter of 2021 as a reclassification of shares, leaving Vimeo an independently traded public company.

Business As Usual For IAC

Vimeo is far from IAC's first rodeo when it comes to spinoffs. The holding company's go-to maneuver has been to build up companies from within and then break them off once they have matured:

  • Vimeo would be IAC and its predecessors' 11th spin off. Expedia, LendingTree and Ticketmaster are a few household names the holding company has strengthened and subsequently parted ways with over the years.
  • More recently IAC spun off its shares of online dating company Match Group this July. The company is also planning to wave goodbye to Angie's List owner ANGI Homeservices in the near future.

The Takeaway: Shareholders applauded the move with a 14% jump in IAC's share price.