Blog network Sugar Inc. is trying to transform itself into a diversified media company, with the purchase of another e-commerce startup and a foray into offline entertainment. Sugar said Monday it had purchased video shopping site Shopflick.com and had also raised $16 million in a third round of funding from Sequoia Capital. The company said it would use the new funds for acquisitions and international expansion. It will also repurchase shares it sold in 2007 to NBC Universal. The state of the NBC Universal (NYSE: GE) relationship had been somewhat in question since July when Sugar took back ad sales from the media giant. At the time, the company said that NBC Universal’s investment in the company would remain the same.
Financial terms of the Shopflick acquisition were not disclosed. The startup, which lets merchants use videos to show off goods they want to sell, raised $7 million in a first round from Panorama Capital and Venrock last year. Sugar said it would use Shopflick to boost another one of its properties — ShopStyle. It purchased ShopStyle in September 2007.
As part of the transaction, Shopflick founder David Grant, the former president of Fox TV Studios, will join Sugar and lead a new Los Angeles-based unit of the company dedicated to expanding the Sugar brand into online video, TV, film, and videogames. Even before today’s news, the company had already been quickly adding properties to its roster. It launched two new sites in October: CelebStyle.com and SaleHabit.com.