BeautyCon launched in 2011 as a conference for fans to meet their favorite online beauty and fashion gurus. But now the Hollywood startup is in the hands of Chief Executive Moj Mahdara. And Mahdara, whose marketing firm Made with Elastic bought the conference last year, has big plans for this new media company.
“We compare ourselves to a young Vice for girls,” she said. “While they’re for an older Generation X demographic, we’re going for the 14- to 16-year-olds.”
BeautyCon’s current website looks like the quintessential millennial girl magazine, a layout littered with bubbly pastels, selfies with fashion bloggers and gifs of famous online stars. Its traffic is modestly respectable with 155,000 monthly page views and 60,000 monthly uniques.
But social media is really where the company shines. This year’s BeautyCon Los Angeles conference, which took place in August, had 6,000 attendees and made 139 million social impressions the day of the event. And with 75 percent of BeautyCon’s engaged users under the age of 21, it’s an attractive investment as marketers look for new ways to target young female consumers.
“The demo we’re catering to is hugely powerful, and we’re just listening to what they want,” Mahdara said. “Beauty is a $360 billion industry, and for some reason, startups and tech investors have vastly ignored this audience.”
Mahdara said BeautyCon is in the middle of raising a seed round set at $2 million. Investors in the round include the Hearst Corp., Rachel Zoe Ventures and Queensbridge Venture Partners.
BeautyCon is set to launch a new site by the end of this year to fill that “Vice for Girls” void. The site will aggregate beauty and fashion content from YouTube, Instagram and various blogs as well as have original contributors. The company is also working on projects with partners such as Yahoo! and stylist Rachel Zoe’s lifestyle site, The Zoe Report.
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