While the big names in the social networking world, Facebook and MySpace, get most of the headlines, several niche networks are out there signing up millions of users. One such network is CafeMom, a social network for mothers, that has just raised a new round of funding.
Already positioned well with several big-name advertisers such as Wal-Mart, HP, Disney, Johnson & Johnson and General Mills, CafeMom hopes to use this new money to attract even more advertisers. They plan to do this by expanding operations — including their core and marketing teams, which will work to pull in more more traffic. The site claims to already have over 120 million monthly page views and 6 million monthly visits.
“The bigger we get, the more valuable we are,” CafeMom chief executive Michael Sanchez told me today in the context of pulling in more advertisers. Sanchez says their site offers companies a unique situation with regards to advertising because CafeMom has attracted what it considers to be influential mothers to its service. These are moms who try various products and then spread the word on what they like, whether it be by word-of-mouth or by writing something about them.
Sanchez noted that what has been driving the sites’ growth has really been the desires for moms in similar situations to open up with one another. Specifically, he spoke of a large community for pregnant mothers on the site and also one for mothers of autistic children who log on to share their experiences.
This latest round, valued at $12 million was co-led by original investors Highland Capital Partners and Draper Fish Jurvetson. Based in New York, CafeMom also raised a $5 million round in August of last year (our coverage). Prior to that the company had raised $50 million, mostly during the last Internet boom of the late 1990s/early 2000s.
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