Inside Network Sells for $14M. Congrats, Justin, Eric.

Inside Network, the blogging company that publishes Inside Facebook, Inside Mobile Apps and Inside Social Games and ran a successful research business, has been acquired by WebMediaBrands (JupiterMedia redux) for about $14 million dollars. The purchase price is roughly half in cash and half in stock.

Justin Smith, founder of the Inside Network, will continue to operate the business and will become WebMediaBrands’ Vice President, Social Media and a member of its board of directors. Terms for the transaction included payment of $7.5 million in cash and 4,183,130 shares of the common stock of WebMediaBrands. WebMediaBrands expects that this acquisition will be immediately accretive to its earnings and cash flows.

Alan Meckler, CEO of WebBrandsMedia is a veteran web publisher (he owned Internet.com and ran the Internet trade show) has done a great job of picking up high-quality, niche B2B properties.  He started off with MediaBistro and soon followed up by buying All Facebook (part of Social Times) and now the Inside Network. Meckler’s roll-up approach is methodical, and from the looks of it, proving to be very successful. All these properties have strong advertising support from the verticals they support. The Inside acquisition gives WebMediaBrands a very strong stable of writers and analysts, as well as gives the company an even bigger presence on the West Coast.

As for Justin Smith and Eric Eldon, co-founders of the Inside Network, I couldn’t be happier. Smith and I met a while ago and talked about our respective businesses. His success is validation of the quality-first approach, something we have believed in from the day we started GigaOM. His ideas of using data-metrics as an editorial resource were radical at the time, and he was pretty astute in starting the AppData business. AppData provides vital information about Facebook apps.

InsideFacebook became a must read for me when Eric Eldon joined the company. Eldon and I first met when he was still at Stanford working on a WordPress-based publishing system for small newspapers and group blogs. He later joined VentureBeat as a reporter. He flourished because he was thoughtful and took the time to educate the reader – not an easy task in today’s day and age of hair-trigger blogging.

Justin and Eric and rest of the Inside team – congratulations on your success. You deserve it.