Dotdash

Online publisher Dotdash has added Byrdie and MyDomaine to its fold as the New York-based firm looks to enter the world of beauty.

Dotdash is part of publishing firm IAC, which notched a year-over-year revenue gain of 33 percent to more than $1.1 billion in the third quarter. The company boasts a portfolio of more than 150 brands, including Vimeo and The Daily Beast, along with a majority stake in dating app firm Match Group and ANGI Homeservices, parent to Angie’s List.

MyDomaine and Byrdie, previously owned by Clique Brands, join a portfolio of brands at Dotdash that include Verywell, Investopedia, Lifewire and ThoughtCo, among others. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Ohana & Co. advised Clique Brands on the deal.

The majority of the acquired sites’ editorial and sales teams are in New York and will have the option to join Dotdash with the acquisition closed as of Tuesday.

“We look very different from a lot of the other publishers,” said Dotdash chief executive officer Neil Vogel by phone Tuesday, ahead of a meeting with staff about the deal. “We don’t come from the legacy print part of the world. We didn’t raise a ton of cash.…We just focused on really, really fast, well-designed web sites.”

To that end, with Dotdash revenue having crossed the $100 million threshold, that strategy’s worked, Vogel said. That allowed the company to turn its focus to new endeavors, such as beauty. Vogel, who said he’s known Clique Brands founders Katherine Power and Hillary Kerr for more than a decade, said the timing was right as Clique looks to turn its attention to commerce as Dotdash continues to remain focused on online publishing.

“As our company’s strategy continues to evolve from advertising-supported media to community-driven commerce, we are thrilled to have two of our most special media properties join Dotdash,” said Power, who serves as Clique ceo. “Both sites have had record traffic in 2018 and we are excited to see how the Dotdash team will build on their success.”

The deal reflects the first sale for Clique, with no plans for any additional sell-offs, a spokeswoman said. She added the company is concentrating on its flagship Who What Wear and consumer brands.

“The one thing about these brands that we like the most is they don’t need a reinvention,” Vogel said. “Both of them set traffic records last year. [Dotdash beauty general manager] Leah’s [Wyar] really going to set the course. We’re just going to learn and find our place and invest heavily.”

Wyar, the former chief beauty director at Hearst Magazines, was hired specifically to head up the Byrdie and MyDomaine teams. Dotdash in the past three years has funneled more than $50 million into improving content and Vogel said that rate of spend is likely to increase as Byrdie and MyDomaine integrate into the company.

The specifics of what will be done with the newly acquired sites moving forward is unclear at this point. However, Vogel said building on the content and eventually physical activations in varying forms is of interest.

“You’re hearing a lot about media struggling,” Vogel said. “This [deal] isn’t that. We’re very fortunate to be able to buy from [Clique] two properties that are at the height of their powers and that’s really, really interesting to us. We have a lot to learn in this space. Between the Byrdie and MyDomaine teams and Leah, we’re just really excited.”

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