Posted on Friday, Aug 21st 2015
It is rare to see an Internet company that has impressive user metrics for over a decade and has still not decided to go public. One such company is a content curator and Billion Dollar Unicorn club hopeful Mode Media, formerly known as Glam Media.
Mode Media’s Offerings
Brisbane-based Mode Media was founded in 2003 by Apple and NetObjects veteran Samir Arora. Mode Media was founded as a media discovery platform to connect people based on their interests and to bring luxury brands as advertisers. Within a year and a half, they had rebranded themselves as Glam Media and focused on women by creating a media platform that provided access to curated fashion and lifestyle content and presented it in the format of printed fashion magazines. They soon set up several dedicated web sites such as Glam.com that focused on women style, fashion, beauty, home, and family entertainment; Brash.com as a men’s lifestyle site; Bliss.com to focus on Health & Wellness; Tend.com as its parenting focused site, and Foodie.com to offer food recipes and information on restaurants.
Mode ensures quality content by certifying their content creators. More than 10,000 professional content creators including journalists, writers, video producers, or curators have been certified through their online review.
Till last year, Glam Media was primarily focused on women. Last year, they went through another rebranding exercise and became Mode Media, and expanded their target market across all demographics. The new name also came with additional focus on video content. The company has been developing a consumer-facing video product on the likes of Netflix. They have not only tied up with TV companies, but are also developing original content focused on subjects like lifestyle, fitness, and other related themes. Their video streaming has attracted a big following as they recorded nearly 11.5 million monthly visitors – quite an achievement considering that online video streaming site Hulu had nearly 13 million monthly visitors.
Lured by their initial success, Mode continues to drive their video offering. They are now offering guaranteed views of more than a million to their featured content creators. Earlier this year, one of their featured video bloggers, Meghan Rienks reported over 1 million views within the first three hours of releasing a video on Mode’s site. Mode believes that they will be able to deliver more than a billion video views before the end of this year.
Mode Media’s Financials
According to comScore’s January release, Mode Media is the seventh most visited site in the country with nearly 150 million unique monthly visitors. In fact, they were ranked higher than the likes of Twitter and LinkedIn, which came in at 17 and 15 positions, respectively.
Mode Media earns revenues through advertising. It shares a percentage of the revenues with content creators. Mode does not disclose its financials, but recent reports suggest that they are trending on annual revenues of over $100 million but are yet to turn in profits. A couple of years ago, the market was speculating that Mode was contemplating a listing at over $1 billion in valuation. But since then, the rumors have died out. Mode has not defined any plans of when they will go public.
For now, Mode is venture funded with $186 million in equity funding from investors including Hubert Burda Media, BDCA Venture, Inc., 137 Ventures, Aeris Capital, Mizuho Venture Capital, Hercules Technology Growth Capital, Silicon Valley Bank, Accel Partners, DAG Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, GLG Partners, Information Capital LLC, and Walden Venture Capital. Their latest round of funding was held earlier this year when they raised $30 million from Hubert Burda Media at an undisclosed valuation. Mode’s valuation may not be disclosed, but some peg them as members of the Billion Dollar Unicorn club.
More investigation and analysis of Unicorn companies can be found in my latest Entrepreneur Journeys book, Billion Dollar Unicorns. Unicorns will also be discussed with some special guests during our 1M/1M Roundtable programs over the next few weeks. To be a part of the conversation, please register here. The term Unicorn was coined in a TechCrunch article by Aileen Lee of Cowboy Ventures.
This segment is a part in the series : Billion Dollar Unicorns
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