Glam Media raises $84.6 mil for expansion


COLOGNE, Germany -- Women's online network Glam Media hit another milestone Monday, announcing a further $84.6 million round of financing led by German publishing powerhouse Herbert Burda Media.

The Burda deal values Glam at $500 million and adds weight to its claim of being the largest female-oriented network on the Web.

Burda, Europe's largest publishers of woman's magazines, was the lead investor in the consortium that originally pumped $64.6 million into the Silicon Valley-based Glam group. Other investors in that group include GLG Partners, the fund Duff Ackerman & Goodrich Ventures, Accel Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Walden Ventures and Information Capital.

Glam, which raised another $20 million in revenue-based debt financing from Hercules Technology Growth Capital, sells advertising over a network of more than 460 sites that includes, the Web sites for CBS Entertainment's "Entertainment Tonight," "The Insider" and the "Rachael Ray Show" and Lifetime TV's branded sites.

According to comScore's MediaMetrix, 44 million unique visitors view Glam-operated or partner sites every month. In the U.S., Glam claims 25 million unique visitors a month, compared with 17 million for NBC Universal's The Woman's Network.

Many of Glam's competitors, including NBC Universal, have questioned the company's figures, arguing that Glam's true reach is much smaller because it does not own many of the sites it places ads on.

Burda will take a single-digit stake in Glam. While both sides declined to comment on the price tag, Burda reportedly paid about $25 million for its stake.

Christiane zu Salm, former head of German channel Neun Live and a Herbert Burda board member, will join Glam Media's board of directors as an observer.

For the German group, Glam offers an entry point into the U.S. market. There also may be ample opportunities for synergies. Burda is Europe's largest publisher of women's magazines, publishing such titles as Elle and InStyle in several European territories.

"Glam Media is well positioned to enable global brand advertisers via their distributed media network model," said Marcel Reichart, managing director of R&D, marketing and communications at Burda. "The investment by Burda leverages our strong position in women and lifestyle media brands and further enables our transformation towards digital media."

Glam will use the cash from its first financing round to fund its rapid international expansion. Glam is targeting revenue of $100 million this year.