CafeMom, Social Net For Moms, Raises $12 Million Second Round

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CafeMom, a NYC-based social net for mothers, has raised a $12 million second from from past investors Highland Capital Partners and Draper Fisher Jurvetson. The company raised $5 million last August, bringing its funding to $17 million. The company claims that on “engagement metrics” it has passed other established womens’ sites. It also competes with sites trying to positions themselves as social nets for adults, including mom-focused Maya’s Mom, which was bought by JNJ’s BabyCenter. With the funding, the company says it plans, vaguely, to accelerate growth.

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Anil Gupta

Much has been written about the opportunities for the growing "online mommy market". Just last week, eMarketer's senior analyst Debra Aho Williamson published a report entitled, "Moms Online: Browsing, Researching, Buying"

With CafeMom's success to date and their latest round of funding, giving them the runway to continue spending heavily on user acquisition (buying most of their traffic via Google Adwords), what does this mean for the less-capitalized startups in the parenting space? Or does a rising tide lift all boats?

For investors and media companies looking to get into the space, sites like ConnectngMoms, MommyBuzz, Minti, MothersGroups.com and MothersClick, may represent attractive targets. Their value can only increase as Cafemom has firmly validated the marketplace. Furthermore, Cafemom's present lead is far from assuring them the top spot three years from now. Just look at Myspace, Facebook, Bebo and the others. People are always looking for a better community.

And if it could be said about any demographic, none better than this one: moms love to shop around.

travelingmom.com

This is good news for the rest of us mom-based websites. My online magazine, travelingmom.com, is seeking funding and Cafe Mom's success in raising money tells me that the trillion dollar mom market is being taken seriously. There is very little published research about moms with money other than there are 82.5mm of us in the US, we control 70% of household spending, use the internet and we took 208 million trips last year with kids. All that makes for a very powerful market segment. Thanks, CafeMom & Maya's Mom for paving the way.

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