Glam, an online fashion and lifestyle publisher, has announced that it has raised $18.5 million in venture funding, which it plans to use for mergers and acquisitions.

Glam Media, which claims to have had 8 million unique users in November, has also announced a deal with Hearst magazines to add content from Marie Claire to Glam’s sites.

Glam Media’s network of sites includes more than 200 Glam-owned and affiliate partner web sites; GlamSpace, a social network for fashion and style; and GlamCentral, which ranks and searches fashion and style blogs.

This funding round was led by DAG Ventures, with input from Accel Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, WaldenVC, and Information Capital. CNET chairman Jarl Mohn is joining the board of Glam Media as part of the deal, which brings the total raised to $30 million.

According to John Cadeddu of DAG Ventures:

“Glam Media is at the forefront of a shift in digital publishing, and we are delighted to be backing one of the fastest-growing Web media properties. With over 50 percent growth quarter over quarter, Glam has created a highly desirable new Web 2.0 business model.”

Valleywag points out that Glam’s claim of 8 million unique visitors is a little far-fetched. It quotes comScore, whose figures show only 3.8 million Glam Network visitors in November.

These figures also include traffic to Glam’s 200 or so associated blogs (some owned by Glam, some affiliated). Glam Blogs in the UK include hecklerspray.com and Shiny Media’s blog network, which account for around 1.5m unique users per month.

Glam’s sites currently command relatively high CPMs for their ads, between $20 and $30 for static placements, so backers must feel that, with further expansion planned by Glam’s network, their advertising revenues will justify their investment.

Further Reading:

VC investment rising to dotcom bubble levels