No Longer Under Age: Zivity Takes $7 Million In Venture Financing For Adult Content Social Network

Zivity is an adult content social network and user generated content site (they call it “Promoting Beauty 2.0”). It has the distinction of being one of the first adult content startups to be backed by venture capital via a $1 million seed round in 2007, and it caused quite a stir at its official launch at TechCrunch40. As we mentioned last month, mainstream press is starting to pay serious attention to them.

The company will announce a new $7 million round of financing in a deal led by both BlueRun Ventures and Founders Fund. The company has now raised a total of $8 million. The social networking experience that these VCs add is substantial. Founders Fund is an early Facebook investor. Both are investors in Slide.

John Malloy of BlueRun Ventures and Luke Nosek of Founders Fund join Zivity co-founders Scott Banister, Cyan Banister (who also models for the site) and Jeffrey Wescott on the company’s board of directors.

The site allows both amateur and professional models and photographers to show their stuff. Users vote on those that they like, which channel real dollars to the talent. The more votes, the more money. The basic site is free, but users must pay to vote. About 40% of gross revenue is given directly to the talent. With a recent redesign, the site is focused much more on social networking – users and talent have profile pages and can add each other as friends. They’ve even added a news feed feature that shows who is adding who as friends, and which models users have voted for.

Zivity remains in private beta (and will likely stay there until early 2009), although current users are given invitations to give to their friends. That means that most people joining the site today already know someone who’s using it, and can add them as a friend. In my “testing” of the site I noticed that the current users seem active in voting and friending. My guess is that building the community slowly but focusing on active users is a good way to go. And besides, anyone that really wants in can get an invitation on InviteShare.