By Sahil Patel
In the midst of a lot of investment and acquisition activity in the YouTube MCN space, beauty network StyleHaul is the latest to be up for sale.
According to multiple media reports, StyleHaul has been approached by a variety of big media companies to talk about an acquisition. Per Variety, potential suitors include publishers like Conde Nast and Hearst — each with huge beauty/fashion businesses — as well as Amazon and 21st Century Fox.
It does not appear that a deal is imminent. In fact, Variety reports that both Hearst and 21st Century Fox had preliminary discussions with StyleHaul, but no progress has been made on either front since.
The MCN has enlisted the services of Guggenheim Partners to handle the sales process (which, it should be noted, also has the potential to turn into another financing round, instead of an outright sale).
The news comes at a time when interest in MCN-Land is at somewhat of a fever pitch. Following the landmark acquisition of Maker Studios by Disney, which might pay as much as $950 million when all is said and done, other networks like Fullscreen and Collective Digital Studio have also been sold majority or minority stakes.
Unlike Maker and Fullscreen, StyleHaul is an MCN that focuses on a single vertical — in this case beauty and fashion. The network claims more than 4,500 channels, cumulatively reaching more than 175 million subscribers. Top creators include Justine Ezarik (iJustine), Zoella, and Joey Graceffa.
Other vertical-oriented MCNs like the food-centric Tastemade, which recently closed an investment led by Food Network owner Scripps Networks Interactive.
Investors in StyleHaul include Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments and RTL Group. In total the network has raised $17 million to date.