Glam Media, the online women and lifestyle media and ad-network company, has raised another big round, this time a mezannine round before its logical next move of an IPO in the next year or so. It has received about $50 million in this fifth round, led by Aeris Capital, the European fund, with existing investors Hubert Burda Media and Mizuho Capital also participating. The valuation, our sources say, is around $750 million post money. This round brings the total cash raised by the company directly to about $130 million.
Out of the $50 million round, about $10 million to $15 million is money taken off the table for early investors and some employees (though the amount is spread across a large number of employees and so is small individually); the rest will be used to build an R&D center to develop its platform and enable display ad innovation, expand internationally, and for strategic acquisitions, CEO Samir Arora told me earlier today. Also, Glam will restart its U.S. expansion plans, which it halted last year due to the economic climate. During the recession, the company says, its top execs took 40-50 percent paycuts, it cut the total number of U.S. employees by 8 percent, and it moved to employee variable pay. Seems that now those numbers will go back up.
The company at the end of Q409 was profitable EBITDA-wise across its various global divisions, which really led to a process where they could either start the work on filing for an IPO, or do this new mezz round, and in the end decide to take the funding money, he told me. Coming next, very likely within the year or early next year: an IPO, though Samir didn’t comment on that. Interestingly, unlike the last big round where it worked with Allen & Co and BofA on the fundraising, this time it didn’t use any banks.