M&A and VC activity
NBC Universal acquired iVillage, the most popular women’s site along with its other Internet properties for $600 million in 2006.
Glam Media, the number one women’s property on the Net as per the latest comScore ranking raised $18.5 million in Series C funding from Duff Ackerman & Goodrich Ventures (DAG), Accel Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, WaldenVC, and Information Capital (Chairman & CEO Samir Arora’s fund). Glam Media had also raised $10 million in Series B led by Accel Partners with Draper Fisher Jurvetson and WaldenVC in 2004. Glam has raised a total of $30 million till date.
Blog network Sugar Publishing, owner of PopSugar raised $5 million in VC funding from Sequoia Capital (Michael Moritz) in late 2006.
With various Internet, Magazines, Newspapers and Old Media companies planning to expand their online presence in the verticals, there will be a large appetite for acquisitions in the online women’s portal space. VCs should look for context-specific, women-oriented Web 3.0 ventures to invest and nurture. And oh, I would like one of these to be my Personal Shopper idea 🙂
Today women are spending a larger share of their available time on the Internet and this has resulted in women’s magazines shifting their focus from traditional media to online portals. We have already seen a good number of women’s magazines going online or buying online women’s portals. Meredith Interactive, for example manages a couple of sister sites like LHJ.com, Baby, FamilyCircle.com, etc. Hearst Corporation owned Seventeen Magazine shut down their teen-girls focused magazine, in favor of an online effort.
Today women are an important category and over 30% of the working women are out-earning their husbands. This has resulted in greater economic power for women and online media has been quick to identify and take advantage of this opportunity. There is, however, a great deal more to do, and my assessment of the opportunities in the Women’s Vertical lie squarely in the various Contextual nuances, and applying Web 3.0 on each.