Mode Media Shuts Operations at Once-Hot Lifestyle Startup

  • Company is said to have held staff meeting to announce closure
  • Once called Glam Media, it had planned IPO as far back as ’11

Five years ago, Glam Media was planning an initial public offering that was set to deliver a big payday for its venture capital backers. That never panned out, and the lifestyle media startup, since renamed Mode Media Corp., told employees Thursday that it is shutting down operations, said people familiar with the matter.

Mode Media had been seeking to raise funds in recent months, and the closure was abrupt, said the people, who asked not to be named because the details are private. The company has raised more than $150 million since it was founded in 2004, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Spokespeople for Mode Media didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment. The Wall Street Journal reported Mode’s closure on Thursday.

It’s a bitter end for the once-promising media startup. German media company Hubert Burda Media Ltd. led a $30 million investment in Mode Media last year as the Brisbane, California, startup looked to expand further into video. Mode Media recently introduced more digital video offerings and was the 10th most visited U.S. digital media property in February, according to research firm ComScore. It changed its name from Glam Media in 2014 to refocus its brand beyond fashion and beauty.

There have been a string of executive departures in recent months. Samir Arora, a founder and longtime chief executive officer, stepped down in late March. Marc Andreessen, who had joined the board in 2011 after the company acquired his social network Ning, also resigned, as did President Dan Lagani. The Wall Street Journal reported in July that Mode Media cut 30 staff in the U.S.

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