The vertical-focused media company, Glam Media, is moving fast toward their IPO. The Ad Network powerhouse, which earns revenues through advertisements, recently selected Goldman Sachs and Bank of America as lead bankers for the IPO expected to be out by the end of the current quarter.
Glam Media’s Financials
Glam Media’s network content is developed by independent writers who receive an estimated half of the ad revenues that Glam generates from this content. They have an estimated audience of 240 million users who generate 3.1 billion page views. Although Glam has never disclosed their financials, analysts believe that they have been profitable since 2010 and have seen revenues grow to more than $100 million from $75 million recorded a year ago. In the coming years, growth is expected to continue at a 25% annual rates.
Glam Acquires Social Media Network Ning
Glam has been expanding their social networking offerings. Last year, they spent $150 million-$200 million for the acquisition of social network, Ning. Ning operated on a subscription-based model that let users create their own social network. Ning had reached a user base of more than one million and was at one point valued at $500 million, but the growing popularity of Facebook hurt Ning significantly. It is estimated that at the time of the acquisition, Ning had more than 100,000 paying customers driving more than 60 million unique visits. Even so, Ning has managed to retain a fee-based subscriber service and is estimated to have annual subscription revenues of $10 million-$20 million. Through the acquisition, Glam will be able to include social features such as blogging, commenting, and social feed platforms on their content platform.
Earlier this year, Glam also launched Foodie.com, a food-centered vertical network that also features social networking capabilities. Foodie has content from more than 100 authors and will publish more than 1,000 recipes. Besides a recipe finder app, Foodie has been integrated with Facebook and Twitter. Further, Foodie will let users post their own content, including recipes, photos, reviews, and other comments.
According to market reports, Glam is valued at $950 million. Whether this value is justified will be put to the test when Glam makes their IPO this year.