Mode Media, the media and ad company that is building a video-centric hub for professional content producers, has raised $30 million more in financing.
Including this latest Series F round of equity, led by Hubert Burda Media, the company has now raised a total of $186 million.
Mode, formerly known as Glam, is trying to build itself into a destination platform where content producers go to promote their content, and get paid for it too. It hopes that its social features will give it an edge. By giving curators the ability to like stories — which in turn promotes those stories within specialized channels of feeds — Mode says it makes it easy for advertisers to target users according to taste.
Mode is making progress. The business is now generating more than $100 million in annual revenue, chief executive Samir Arora told VentureBeat in an interview. It has more than 10,000 editors, video producers and other professionals producing and curating content.
In its bid to build a new media platform, however, Mode faces some massive competitors, who are all bigger names and have formidable holds in their respective areas — from Facebook to YouTube to Yahoo’s Tumblr.
Yet each of those have their limitations for professional curators, Arora said. Facebook gives creators a place to promote themselves, but isn’t effective at letting them get get paid. And YouTube, while it is strong in video, doesn’t do well at leveraging personalized interests or other social clues to deliver content to readers. Mode wants to do just that, and sees personalized content as the way to deliver massive numbers of viewers to its professionalized curators. It points to the example of video blogger Meghan Rienks who got 1.8M views in five hours on its platform, more than she usually gets on YouTube.
At first blush, $186 million may seem like a lot of capital for a media company. It has raised much more than latest wave of media companies, such as Buzzfeed and Vox Media, which have raised $96 million and $108 million, respectively. Those companies are largely focused on content, however. Mode has also built out its own display advertising platform.
In its next move, the company aims to work with mainstream TV, music, magazine and newspaper companies to promote their content too, Arora said. The effort will start with a focus on U.S publications, and expand internationally, he said.
Mode boasted 152M unique visitors in April, according to Comscore, making it the 7th largest web property. It’s the only private company in the top 20 of comScore’s Media Matrix. It is just behind AOL’s 170M uniques.
Mode expressed its intent to go public a few years ago, but it has since curtailed those plans, and looks to be settling in for at least a couple of more years as a private company to consolidate around its new brand, Mode, and to become profitable. Part of the this most recent Series F round will also be used to retire some of the company’s debt.
Other past investors in Mode include Keating Capital, Information Capital, Accel Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Walden VC, DAG Ventures, Aeris Capital and Mizuho Capital.
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