Kara Swisher

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CafeMom Launches Daily Deals and Plans Hispanic Moms Site

CafeMom, a social-networking and community site aimed at mothers, is expanding its offerings to daily deals, as well as announcing an anticipated launch of a site aimed at Hispanic moms.

The deals effort has just been launched under the killer URL of Mom.com and will first be available in the Northern New Jersey area.

The sales force, which will presumably compete with armies of sales people from social buying phenoms such as Groupon and LivingSocial, will be made up of local moms in these markets.

The “Mamas Latinas” site–which is still unnamed–will be run by former People en Español publisher Lucia Ballas-Traynor, who has just been hired by CafeMom.

In an interview yesterday, its co-founders Michael Sanchez and Andrew Shue said the New York-based CafeMom was aiming at another major growth spurt.

Said Shue of the effort so far: “It’s just two dads trying to create the definitive mom’s site.”

There is a lot of competition in the space, such as iVillage, which is more broadly aimed at the lucrative women’s space.

But CafeMom had attracted attention too and had considered a number of acquisition offers last year, before deciding to expand its service on its own.

Last summer, in fact, Yahoo and several other companies expressed interest in the possibility of acquiring CafeMom.

After considering a variety of offers, said Sanchez, who is CEO of CafeMom, “We think we have a unique opportunity to grow ourselves and not for someone else.”

The company has been knocking around for a long time in Internet terms, morphing from a sister company owned by CMI Marketing called ClubMom back in the Web 1.0 days.

CMI, which was also founded by Shue and Sanchez, finally got two big fundings in 2008 totaling $24 million, from venture firms such as Highland Capital Partners and Draper Fisher Jurvetson.

Moving from what was essentially a glorified bulletin board for moms, it has added content and other social-networking tools and games.

For example, it recently launched a blog and content platform named “The Stir.”

Shue and Sanchez said the main CafeMom site now has 7.6 million million unique monthly visitors on its main site and almost 21 million on its overall network of affiliated sites.

The pair said that CafeMom is profitable, with 100 employees. It now has revenue of about $36 million annually.

Here’s the official press release about the Hispanic moms site:

CafeMom, the #1 site for moms with more than 7MM monthly visitors, to launch new website for Hispanic Moms

Outgoing publisher of PEOPLE en Español announced as co-founder.

New York, New York May 4, 2011–CafeMom announced its plans to launch a web destination catering to Hispanic moms in the coming months, to be co-founded by Lucia Ballas-Traynor, a Hispanic marketing veteran and the just-departed publisher of PEOPLE en Español. As part of its market research, CafeMom conducted a major national study of Hispanic moms, across the acculturation spectrum, and found that 92% of Hispanic moms believe there is not currently a website that clearly serves their needs.

“There is currently a huge gap online in serving Hispanic moms,” said CafeMom CEO, Michael Sanchez. “By 2014 one in four moms online will be Hispanic, and advertisers are increasingly looking for ways to reach this key segment. The site represents a tremendous opportunity, both to add value to millions of moms’ lives and to deliver unique integration possibilities to the brands that are most committed to the Hispanic market.”

CafeMom conducted a nationally-representative study of Hispanic moms fielded in both English and Spanish with a well-respected third party research vendor. The study showed Hispanic moms are underserved online, and are also eager to connect with each other. 79% of Hispanic moms said they wanted to connect with other Moms who share their culture, heritage, and life experiences.

Co-founder Lucia Ballas-Traynor brings her 25 years experience in Hispanic media, and has been at the helm of leading Hispanic media brands such as Univision’s Galavision, MTV Tr3s and most recently People en Español, the largest selling Hispanic magazine in the U.S.

“Our plan is to leverage CafeMom’s expertise in community, content, and strategic programs for leading brands and combine it with a world class leadership team that has a deep understanding of Hispanic moms and media,” said Sanchez. “As part of this effort, we are excited to bring Lucia on to the team. She has a proven track record in delivering for consumers and advertisers alike.”

“I’m thrilled to be working with CafeMom on this,” says Ballas-Traynor. “CafeMom is uniquely positioned to deliver this opportunity as an authority on moms. I’m confident that we can create something that will add real value to the lives of millions of Hispanic moms.”


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