ThisNext raises more cash to focus on women's shopping

Social shopping startup ThisNext is in the middle of a shift from its previous identity as a general shopping site to one that’s targeted at women. As part of that effort, it’s announcing new funding.

The Los Angeles company’s chief executive Matt Edelman (who joined ThisNext earlier this year) told me that with the recent acquisition of StyleHive, as well as feedback from ThisNext and StyleHive users, it seemed like a good time to focus on the company’s strengths.

There are a couple different components to the new focus, Edelman said. One goal is to “really ramp up” the quality of the editorial content. He said he wants each of the company’s sites — ThisNext, StyleHive, and MyStyleDiary — to have a distinct voice. As one example of how that’s going to happen, Edelman said ThisNext has recruited MyStyleDiary’s founder Patricia Handschiegel to start writing for her site again. (She sold it to StyleHive in 2007.)

Edelman said he wants to turn each site into the online equivalent of a women’s magazine, and not just in the sense of having high-quality editorial content. Those magazines succeed because they’re a powerful way to connect brands and stores with women, and a reliable way to promote products, he said. Edelman hopes to replicate that experience on ThisNext sites — he’s putting an emphasis on driving product discovery and purchases, not just sharing shopping experiences (though of course the two are related).

ThisNext isn’t disclosing the amount of the new funding, but it says it’s an extension of the third round it raised earlier this year. The money comes from new investors Gary Winnick, chairman of the Pacific Capital Group, and Bob Pittman, former chief executive and founder of MTV Networks and former chief operating officer AOL Time Warner. It also comes from previous backers Stan Shuman, a partner in Allen & Co; Clearstone Venture Partners; and Anthem Venture Partners.

The company also announced that it will be partnering with advertising and publishing company Federated Media. (Disclosure: VentureBeat also works with Federated.)

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