Pete Cashmore, now 26, created Mashable.com from his room in Banchory, Aberdeenshire, in 2005 when he was just 19 in a bid to escape the boredom of his studies.
Seven years on, the technology news site now has its head office in New York and Cashmore, who was once dubbed the ‘planet’s sexiest geek’, is set to live up to his name by becoming one of the world’s wealthiest men.
If the buyout by CNN takes place it will cement Cashmore’s success as a dotcom multimillionaire and marks another milestone in the extraordinary rise of the former teenage blogger.
Now employing more than 40 people, Mashable covers and aggregates a wide range of news related to the fast-evolving social media and Internet sector covering companies ranging from start-ups to larger players including Facebook and Twitter and has 50 million page views a month.
Like other mainstream news outlets CNN, which is owned by Time Warner Inc and was founded by Ted Turner in 1980, has been trying to expand its digital business to compete more effectively in the web-based social media age.
Last August it bought Zite, a news application for the iPad designed to give users a personalised magazine-like experience, for up to £16million.
However, it has played down reports of a sale, with a spokesman saying the company did not ‘engage in speculation’.
Cashmore, who already writes a blog for CNN, went to his local school, Banchory Academy, but was forced to spend large amounts of time at home following problems after surgery for appendicitis aged 13 and fell behind with his studies.
It was then the self-described ‘geek’ discovered the internet which became his bedside companion and he began to blog about social media.
He said working on the site made him feel like he was achieving something in bed and following his health problems said he had become ‘driven’.
The site soon began to make a small amount of money from advertising each month and he was able to take on another writer.
Speaking about the rise of Mashable he told Canada’s Globe and Mail in an earlier interview: ‘Not only did I not have connections, I wasn’t in [Silicon] Valley.
‘But I did have an outsider perspective, and as it turned out that was an advantage because there’s a mass market that wants to know what the coolest gadgets are and how to use Facebook, Twitter and other [technology] to get ahead.’
Cashmore, who now has more than 2.2million followers on Twitter, says he doesn’t own a television and doesn’t watch movies claiming he prefers to ‘participate’ via the internet rather than be ‘broadcast to’.
He said he didn’t tell his parents about his website and they only learned of his success when a Daily Mail reporter knocked on the door.
Technology blogger Felix Salmon said the deal could be announced today, although another person familiar with the matter said it was not likely to be announced this week.
CNN spokeswoman Christa Robinson, commenting on the Mashable reports said: ‘We do not engage in speculation about our business and we aren’t commenting on these reports.’
Source: Daily Mail