Dan Wagner’s Brightstation Ventures is raising a second fund from high
net worth individuals in order to further grow its portfolio.
The company, which owns or part-owns a range of web properties
including Koodos, OSOYOU and Shiny Media, is planning to roll out new
websites by the end of the year.
Brightstation is more akin to a proprietary web incubator, with deep pockets, as opposed to an early stage VC. “We come up with ideas and back them. The fund is for things we create internally… it is not a proposition for third parties,” says Wagner.
One new venture yet to be launched, called The Beauty Quest, will be live by October and is
a fashion-focused business aimed at the female demographic. “It will,”
says Wagner, “be like OSOYOU for the cosmetics and toiletries sector”.
Revenues will come from affiliate fees, sponsorships and display
OSOYOU entered administration at the back end of last year but is
now profitable, according to Wagner, who snapped up the company’s
assets in January. CEO Mandy Kay and Editorial Director Jess Markwood
overseeing operations. A full redesign is underway and the site will
relaunch more in the guise of a fashion portal.
Wagner is also founder and chairman at Venda, the full service e-commerce platform that grew out of Boo.com’s technology, which he bought for – in relative terms – peanuts, at the start of the decade.
Venda is used by the likes of Heal’s, Urban Outfitters, The BBC and Laura Ashley. In addition to powering online retail sites for the big players, it also recently launched Venda for Small Business, to cater for niche retailers and eBay powersellers (packages start at £50 per month).
“We continue to win business at Venda. It’s really rocking…” says Wagner.
Additional “major” clients will be unveiled shortly.