7Commerce, the investment arm of media company ProSiebenSat.1, is upping its stake in Munich-based fashion aggregator and discovery startup Stylight, intending to acquire 100 per cent of the company by July — pending regulatory approvals.
It will be buying out existing Stylight investors Holtzbrinck Ventures and Tengelmann Ventures, along with two business angels and the four founders.
ProSiebenSat.1’s media arm had invested a substantial chunk in Stylight’s Series B, as well as taking just over a fifth stake in the fashion aggregator’s first financing round back in December 2012.
The clear investment strategy here is using the mainstream reach of TV advertising to grow the audience for compatible e-commerce properties — even as the Internet risks eroding TV’s power by pulling its audience in different directions. Consequently a diversification of revenue streams is increasingly strategically important for traditional TV media businesses.
“Over the last few years, we have built up a strong e-commerce portfolio, in which the ranges of products are particularly suited to marketing via TV advertising. This is now one of our most important growth drivers,” notes ProSiebenSat.1 Group on its website.
Commenting on the planned equity buy out, Daniel Raab, MD of 7Commerce, highlighted Stylight’s focus on fashion and home & living as complementary to its existing beauty & accessories investment portfolio. “With its mix of content, advertising and commerce, the company is an essential strategic element of our fast-growing e-commerce business,” he added.
For its part Stylight claims it has more than quadrupled revenue since launch (although it’s not disclosing a recent revenue figure). It will say it has a valuation of more than €80 million at this point. But it has never disclosed how much funding it has raised, saying only that its 2013 Series B was a “multi-million” Euro round.
The business now has operations in 15 countries, including the US, and employs around 200 staff across that footprint. One usage metric it is breaking out at this stage is that it has more than 10 million unique users globally.
ProSiebenSat.1 Group operates a number of stations in Europe, with an especially dominant presence in Germany where it says it is number one for both the TV-advertising market and the audience market — reaching more than 42 million TV households daily in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.