A lifestyle portal that targets 45 to 65 year olds has just received a huge $89 million in investment capital to help it build brand recognition and develop ecommerce capabilities.
Thirdage's third round of financing was oversubscribed, but television network CBS said it acquired a 30 per cent stake in the company, which was valued at $54 million.
In exchange for the equity stake, CBS will provide the portal site with advertising and promotional activities for seven years from all branches of its media properties, including radio.
Kathy Hale, an Internet analyst at Dataquest, said: "It's just remarkable. That's the largest placement anywhere near this space that I've seen. Nothing else comes close. People of this age group are clearly online and that is where the accumulated pool of money resides."
Mary Furlong, Thirdage.com's founder, said the Silicon Valley based firm would use the money to help build up brand recognition, hire more staff, grow its membership and develop ecommerce capabilities. The privately held company was founded in 1996 to assist Web users that were moving towards and beyond 50 to make informed decisions.
The site consists of seven primary channels, Romance, Health, Money, Technology, Family, Work and Living, and aims to integrate expert advice, self assessment tools and interactive chatrooms and forums. Sponsors include IBM, Drugstore.com, GE Auto Insurance and Sola Optical.
Statistics from the US Census Bureau indicate that "third agers," which are more commonly known as baby boomers, are the fastest growing section of the population and will exceed 100 million in the next 20 years.
According to Forrester Research, aging baby boomers will also make up more than one third of online users by 2002.
The term "Third Age" is a translation of the French Troisieme Age and refers to the time of life after middle adulthood when responsibilities such as raising a family and working are less pressing or over, and people have the time and money to pursue their passions with vigour.
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