Total Beauty Media is adding to its quickly-growing fashion empire. The Santa Monica-based startup operates cosmetics tips and review site TotalBeauty, BeautyRiot, and ModernMan (the latter as a joint venture with Break Media). Now, it has acquired LimeLife, a woman’s lifestyle portal in an all-stock deal. The value of the acquisition is not being disclosed, but it is less than the $21 million raised by LimeLife since 2005.
Limelife is struggling as a women’s lifestyle site on the Web, but on mobile it is doing much better, with about 2 million monthly mobile visitors (versus only 750,000 for the Website). Much of this traffic comes from being placed on the carrier deck of many feature phones. LimeLife will bring the company’s total reach to about 6 million people a month, including its ad network of about 40 fashion blogs and other sites. Most of Total Beauty’s traffic is driven by search.
With the LimeLife acquisition, Total Beauty will also get some mobile technology still in development called MySnaps, which works as a Web bookmarking tool now. The mobile version will let women snap pictures of products they want to buy in stores and share them instantly with their friends, who get the to vote on it (similar social shopping ideas have been tried before, see JustBoughtIt and iliketotallyloveit).
Total Beauty is trying to pull together a cosmetics and fashion-oriented audience for advertisers. CEO Emrah Kovacoglu used to be the global digital brand manager for Procter & Gamble before leaving to start Total Beauty Media in 2007. “At P&G,” he says, “we couldn’t find enough inventory online. I saw how much money we planned to shift.” So he created a place where women could learn about cosmetics, and rate and review different products. If he could bring the women, he knew he could get the advertisers. He estimates $300 million to $500 million will be spent this year in the U.S. on online advertising for beauty products alone.
The company has raised $16 million in three rounds from Wallington Investments and U.S. Venture Partners. Revenues are ramping from $2.5 million in 2009 to $10 million in 2010 well within reach. The first half of the year already brought in $4 million, and the majority of revenues usually comes in the second half. Sounds like just the kind of company Demand Media might want to buy.