StyleCaster raises $4 million

Ronny Kerr · July 1, 2009 · Short URL:

Personalized fashion community for professionals and amateurs taking off

If I go to Pandora and tell the Web site what music I like, Pandora will not only play my favorite tunes, but it will also recommend me some new music. Even social sharing sites like StumbleUpon depend completely on building up a knowledge database about your “likes,” before it can start feeding you constant updates that it knows you will like. 

So, where’s the site that will listen to what I think about fashion and then recommend me a pair of jeans or a stylish new T-shirt?

StyleCaster, which just raised $4 million in Series A fundraising, wants to be that site.

The fashion site is built upon three fundamentals: Content, Shopping, and Community. Logging into the site, one instantly senses the Community aspect, as you are required to enter key profile information and encouraged to fill out the rest of your profile with a photo and a list of your favorite designers. A community of fashion experts and fashion lovers, the site hopes users will connect, swapping ideas for their favorite outfit.

StyleCaster wants to be the number one stop for everything fashion. In the Daily Looks section of the site, models wear put-together outfits in 360-degree images for detailed viewing. Next to the model is a breakdown of each separate piece of the outfit, which can be “Added to your closet” or “Never shown again.” Once you build up a collection of your favorite styles, StyleCaster will recommend you clothes that you’d probably like in its online store.

Rounding out the site with tons of fashion-related news and a seamless shopping experience, StyleCaster may be on its way to being a central fashion hub. Its still just starting to grow, though. The site only features content for women right now, but men’s clothing should be just around the corner.

The $4 million, invested by Quicken Loans chairman and founder Dan Gilbert, will be used to increase the site’s content alongside the creation of new applications for interacting with the site. The money will also be used to implement an advertising network, which could be StyleCaster’s solution for a quick money-maker in the site’s early stages.

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Pandora TV is a User Generated Content based video portal and personal broadcasting service offering VOD and live video streaming for anybody in the world.

Founded in October 2004, Pandora TV has always been the top leading player in Korean video space with many innovative services. World’s first offering of unlimited upload size and storage space, Open API for standard video platform, personalized broadcasting station with individual user’s own Channel, international search that gathers related videos all around the world and shows, are only some of the services offered by Pandora TV.

Pandora TV’s technological advances on video platform and services as well as its proven business model have been well recognized by investors. Pandora TV raised over $16 million from Silicon Valley venture capitals – one lead by Altos Ventures and another by DCM – in two consecutive funding rounds in 2006 and 2007, which is the largest foreign investment made on Korean Internet start-ups. In 2007, Pandora TV won the award of Red Herring Asia 100 and Red Herring Global 100.

Pandora TV newly launched a global service for all international users on April, 2008. Pandora TV also plans to launch video services across all devices and platforms in near future. Expect to meet us anywhere ranging from IPTV to PDA.

Pandora TV. Where all TVs in the world gather.



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StyleCaster Media Group is a disruptive digital media company that empowers both style enthusiasts and the brands that want to reach them.  StyleCaster combines the art of traditional media with the science of new media to create premium content, engaging experiences and integrated advertising solutions for all its online destinations.



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Pandora, the leading internet radio service, gives people music they love
anytime, anywhere, through a wide variety of connected devices: laptop and
desktop computers, smartphones, connected BluRay players, connected TVs,
etc. Personalized stations launch instantly with the input of a single “seed” –
a favorite artist, song or genre. The Music Genome Project®, a deeply
detailed, hand-built musical taxonomy, powers the personalization or
Pandora. Using this musicological “DNA” and constant listener feedback
Pandora crafts personalized stations from the more than 800,000 songs that
have been analyzed since the project began in January 2000.
More than 75 million people throughout the United States listen to
personalized radio stations for free on Pandora through their PCs, mobile
phones and devices such as the iPad, and connected in-house devices
ranging from TVs to set-top boxes to Blu-Ray players. Mobile technology has
been a significant factor in the growth and popularity of Pandora, starting
with the introduction of the Apple app store for the iPhone in the summer of
2008. Pandora instantly became one of the most top downloaded apps and
today, according to Nielsen, is one of the top five most popular apps across
all smartphone platforms.

Pandora is free, simple and, thanks to connectivity, available everywhere
consumers are – at the office, at home, in the car and all points in between.
In 2009 the Company announced that Pandora would be incorporated into
the dashboard in Ford cars via SYNC technology; GM has already followed in
announcing plans to integrate Pandora into its vehicles and Mercedes-Benz
introduced their Media Interface Plus device that works with the
free Pandora iPhone app to provide direct control of Pandora from in-dash
stereo controls. This was all great news for the millions of Pandora listeners
who had been plugging their smartphones into car dashboards to listen to
personalized stations while driving. More than 50 percent of radio listening
happens in the car, making it a crucial arena for Pandora.

Today tens of millions of people have a deeply personal connection with
Pandora based on the delight of personalized radio listening and discovery.
These highly engaged listeners reinforce the value Pandora provides to: 1)
musicians, who have found in Pandora a level playing field on which their
music has a greater chance of being played than ever before; 2) advertisers,
who benefit from the multi-platform reach of Pandora, as well as its best
practices in targeting consumers for specific campaigns; 3) the music
industry, which has found in Pandora a highly effective distribution channel;
and 4) automobile and consumer electronics device manufacturers, who have
noted that incorporating Pandora into their product makes it more valuable
to consumers.

Pandora continues to focus on its business in the United States. The radio
arena has never been hotter, thanks to technology that enables radio to be
personalized to the individual and more accessible than ever before. Right
now millions of people listen to Pandora in the United States and we hope
someday to bring Pandora to billions of people around the world.

• 2000 – Tim Westergren’s Music Genome Project begins.
• 2005 – Pandora launches on the web.
• 2008 – Pandora app becomes one of the most consistently downloaded
apps in the Apple store.
• 2009 – Ford announces Pandora will be incorporated into car
dashboard. Alpine and Pioneer begin selling aftermarket radios that
connect to consumers’ iPhones and puts the control and command of
Pandora into the car dashboard.
• 2010 – Pandora is present on more than 200 connected consumer
electronics devices ranging from smartphones to TVs to set-top boxes
to Blu-ray players and is able to stream visual, audio, and interactive
advertising to computers, smartphones, iPads, and in-home connected