Within one year of its launch, CafeMom became the most trafficked website for women (by page views) on the Internet, according to comScore. CafeMom gets more than 8 million unique visitors a month, accounting for over 140 million page views. According to their own website, as of 2009, CafeMom.com has turned profitable.
Based in New York City, the company has about 120 employees. CafeMom is owned by privately held CMI Marketing.
CafeMom was founded in 2006 by Michael Sanchez and Andrew Shue. In 1999, the childhood friends established CMI Marketing and subsequently ClubMom, the predecessor to CafeMom. ClubMom was a web site that provided parenting information in the form of blogs, articles and message boards. It also organized a shopping rewards program with sponsors. ClubMom ran until 2007, when CMI Marketing ended the website in order to focus on their sister site by the name of CafeMom.
The idea of CafeMom originated with Andrew Shue when he became a father and he saw how his wife counted on other mothers for support and information. Shue realized that there was a need for mothers to share and talk with other women and there was nothing out there that was bringing them together.
CMI Marketing put together ideas of how the CafeMom website would look and function by looking at features of other social networking sites. The company then took these ideas and simplified them when creating CafeMom.
CafeMom is owned by CMI Marketing Inc., a New York-based company, founded in 1999, which offers Internet community services. The services typically involve online chatting and photo sharing. CMI Marketing Inc. primarily makes money via advertising revenue. They also have investors Highland Capital Partners and Draper Fisher Jurvetson invested some $5 million in the company.
Since the end of 2008, CMI Marketing has been growing. CafeMom reaches 8.1 million unique visitors (ComScore, July 2011) and more than 20 million unique visitors to the CafeMom Plus Network. CafeMom Plus is a network of mom-oriented websites who are in partnership with CafeMom, including: Birthday Partnership Ideas; Coupon Cabin; Education.com; and Families.com.
In the media
CafeMom has been featured in newspapers, magazines and television and radio programs. Articles have appeared in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America along with programs on The Today Show and Webmaster Radio. In 2009, the marketing news and expert advice website, Clickz, published an article on CafeMom’s newly launched games section, and the impact it was making.
In August 2010, it was reported that Yahoo! was seeking to acquire the profit making social networking site aimed at mothers. CMI Marketing and Yahoo negotiated over the price. Other interested companies included The Walt Disney Company.
CafeMom publishes an online journal called The Stir. It provides newspaper articles about parenting and issues surrounding children that members can comment upon and discuss. It also links to related stories on the site as well providing links to similar articles in the press, and gives links to Twitter and Facebook where members can continue the debate. Suburban Turmoil’s Lindsay Ferrier is a fashion columnist for the journal, after selling her style blog, She’s Still Got It, to CafeMom.
The blog is interactive, allowing CafeMom followers to write in and ask questions, appeal for fashion advice and discuss trends. Ferrier became involved with CafeMom after following CafeMom bloggers on Twitter and getting in touch with them.