Mode Media is announcing that it has raised $30 million in new funding.
Previously known as Glam Media, the company ran the fashion site of the same name, as well as other online properties including Brash and Foodie. Last month, it brought all those sites together as Mode.com (although the individual brands still exist under the broader Mode umbrella) and launched a mobile app called Mode Stories.
On both the website and the app, users get a personalized stream of articles and videos based on the users and topics they follow. Arora estimated that the new properties are already seeing 25 million monthly unique visitors, with content published through the platform receiving 200 million monthly impressions. (Mode’s total network reached 154 million unique visitors in March, according to comScore, putting it in the top 10 for the United States.)
Founder and CEO Samir Arora said the lead investor in the new round was Hubert Burda Media. By bringing the German media company on-board, Mode can position itself for more partnerships with larger media companies. (Arora emphasized that all of the 10,000-plus creators who currently publish through Mode are professionals, but he said they’re “mid- and long-tail creators, not necessarily the big publishers.”)
The company has had a complicated funding history. It secretly filed for an IPO back in 2013, according to a story in Business Insider, but while that was going through, we reported that it continued to raise money as a private company. And there’s been no IPO, suggesting that those plans were scrapped.
Arora didn’t directly address the IPO reports, but he did say that Mode has now raised $186 million in equity funding. (CrunchBase has the number at more than $200 million, but Arora said that includes debt.)
He also acknowledged that it might be puzzling to see Mode continue to raise money as a private company more than a decade after it was founded, and at a time when it claims to be bringing in more than $100 million in annual revenue.
Arora said the round will help Mode pay off some of that debt and continue investing in its technology platform. He added that the platform is something that makes the company different, with “all three technology stacks internally built.”
In other words, most online media companies might create their own publishing system, but they’re still using outside ad technology, or vice versa. In Mode’s case, it’s using proprietary technology for advertising, for publishing and for distribution through its web and mobile properties. This allows Mode to deliver content in a uniquely targeted and personalized way, he said: “You need all three types to be a true platform. You can’t do it with just one.”