Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

As Glam Media Waits for Its IPO Moment, a New App Hints at Its Pitch

glam style ipadIf you are waiting for Glam Media’s IPO, you’re going to have to wait a while longer. The Web publisher, which has been filing registration documents for much of the year, is unlikely to actually go public until the end of this year or early 2014, according to people familiar with the company.

In the meantime, here’s something new from Glam: A new iPad app for its “Glam Style” vertical, and a hint of the way CEO Samir Arora will eventually pitch the company to Wall Street.

An app is an app is an app, and if you scroll through Glam Style, you won’t see anything that startles you. The important stuff is below the surface.

For starters, it’s the second app Glam has built using technology and talent it acquired from Ning, the white-label social network company it bought two years ago; earlier in the year, it launched Foodie, using the same DNA.

And, while Glam’s editorial team provided the content for the first version of the app, Arora plans on producing future editions of the app comprised mainly of stuff his team has “curated” from bloggers, as well as Glam readers.

That is: Glam envisions a future where it has lots of apps, produced quickly, filled with low-cost content. Arora points out that this is a much better margin business than traditional publishing or ad networks. He floats the names of Wall Street favorites like Facebook and LinkedIn as analogs.

It’s hard to imagine investors mistaking his sites and apps for those enormous social networks, but at least you know where he’s headed.

As far as IPO timing, Arora won’t comment, since Glam is in a (not very) “secret” registration process.

But the company did raise $25 million this summer, via a well-documented but unacknowledged “F” round, which will give it breathing room and/or the ability to acquire talent or other companies in the meantime. A person familiar with that funding round said it gave Glam a pre-money valuation of $925 million, up from $750 million in its previous round.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald