Peter Kafka

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YouTube’s StyleHaul Network Picks Up Another $6 Million, This Time From RTL

stylehaulStyleHaul, the YouTube network dedicated to fashion and shopping, has more spending money: The startup has raised another $6 million, this time via a strategic investment from RTL Group, the European TV and radio conglomerate.

The video network will add the cash to an earlier funding round, where it picked up $6.5 million from Bertelsmann’s Digital Media Investments arm and other investors. And it means that StyleHaul has now essentially received two different investments from Bertelsmann, since Bertelsmann owns a majority stake in RTL.

StyleHaul has now raised close to $17 million; it says it generates 300 million video views a month. Industry sources say RTL had previously talked to YouTube network/tool startup Fullscreen about an investment; Fullscreen ended up taking money from Comcast and the Chernin Group.

StyleHaul CEO Stephanie Horbaczewski said she’ll use the money to keep building out a non-YouTube home for StyleHaul. Like other YouTube networks, StyleHaul is trying to develop revenue streams that aren’t dependent on the world’s largest video site.

Other projects on tap for Horbaczewski include a “shoppable player” that will let viewers click on videos and purchase stuff they see displayed (here’s a cool example of one at Mr. Porter, starring Elijah Wood).

Horbaczewski said she is also working on two scripted series, which will be StyleHaul’s first foray into original video; it also plans on distributing other people’s work, like a long-delayed “Zoolander” cartoon series from Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Digital.

“This is really going to be a content story for us now,” she said.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work