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Deal Radar 2009: Tangle.com

Posted on Wednesday, Apr 22nd 2009

Today’s Deal Radar company, Tangle.com, creates social networking tools for the faith-based and ‘family-friendly’ marketplace. Founded as GodTube.com, a video-sharing site for Christians, the company changed its name to Tangle.com in February 2009. The rebranding process came about when CEO Jason Illian decided to move from a video-sharing site to a full-fledged social networking site.

Tangle aims to be a family-friendly, content-safe and fully monitored site where users can post videos, write blogs, add friends, post photos, and participate in humanitarian organizations. The focus is on providing users a safe haven where the entire family can enjoy social networking without worrying about inappropriate content. The site has a Community Care team that watches and approves all posted content, something that no other site as large as Tangle can claim. Once a video is uploaded, the site administrator watches it or reads the comments to confirm that it meets the terms of use. This usually takes about 24-48 hours, and once approved the content is placed live on the site.

The company calculates its total available market (TAM) based on the size of its initial market, the faith-based market, which is 291 million people in the US and $5.1 trillion. When Tangle was launched, there was no clear leader in the faith-based space for video-sharing, but it is currently the leader in the marketplace with its growing user base and increasing monthly traffic. Prior to becoming Tangle.com, GodTube.com attracted up to 2.7 million unique visitors monthly. In 2008, GodTube averaged 2.025 million unique visitors, 2.928 million visitors and 25.6 million page views monthly. Further, GodTube recorded almost 40 million total visits in 2008 compared to 14 million total visits in 2007.

Tangle.com, according to the company, gets approximately 25 million page views per month; a significant percentage of the site’s audience are women and children. About 63% of the audience is between 35-49 with a high concentration of users in the South and Southeast US with the highest area of traffic in the United States from the South Atlantic region. The site also gets more than 20% of its audience from outside the US. According to Compete, the site gets 804,670 unique visitors and a total of 1,198,936 visits.

The company’s business model has a three-pronged revenue-generating strategy: advertising, e-commerce and premium services. For advertising, the company is creating direct relationships with agencies and advertisers to allow brands and advertisers reach their prospective target markets. Second, since their platform is technology agnostic, Tangle will offer any (as long as it is congruent with their terms of use) widget, product/service offerings or any sort of commerce that will enable any partner or advertiser to generate sales through the site. They’ll generate revenue through the affiliate revenue share from the sale of products and services across the site. Third, though tangle.com’s private, labeled social networking pages are free to its partners, partners can ask for customization to be built into their pages. Tangle offers premium service contracts, which are typically monthly retainers and may include additional technology creation, advertising and promotion inclusions, additional widget incorporation, and standard strategic consulting time to address such needs.

The company has raised $21 million in funding so far from individual and institutional investors. It had previously raised $2.5 million during GodTube’s launch from private investors, including Norm Miller of Interstate Batteries. Hedge fund GLG Partners is the largest investor to date, and since the inception of the organization, Big Jump Media has raised more than $21 million. However, the company is still not profitable and has just brought in in-house sales team to pursue advertising revenue generation. The entire financial engineering of the company seems utterly screwed up. A company which should have been built to profitability for about $3 million has raised $33 million and is still not profitable!

Suggested Reading:
*Clara Shih On The Facebook Era
*Deal Radar 2009: CollegeNET
*Deal Radar 2008: Care.com

This segment is a part in the series : Deal Radar 2009


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