You’ve probably seen the headlines: newspapers and magazines are folding, TV viewership and movie attendance are in decline, and ad revenues across all platforms are sagging. For the past decade or more, media watchers have blamed streaming, cord-cutting, and even Millennials for the media’s overall decline.
To the media’s rescue comes Attention Capital and their recent acquisition of Girlboss, a female-focused multi-media business created by Sophia Amoruso, whose target audience is professional women.
Not surprisingly, Girlboss isn’t Amoruso’s first rodeo. In 2006, Amoruso founded fashion powerhouse Nasty Gal, which she started by dumpster diving in San Francisco to find vintage clothes to sell on eBay. In 2016, Amoruso chronicled her Nasty Gal story in a memoir titled Girlboss, which became a bestseller and created an army of fans eager to emulate her.
According to Amoruso, “I went on a 12-city book tour, and whenever I went to a Barnes & Noble, there would be women in line talking to one another about their dreams and ambitions. The book created a community, and I wanted to find a way to help support this community.”
The following year, Amoruso launched a web-based media platform named after her memoir while also providing a site that has essentially become an alternative LinkedIn for women where users can discuss their career, seek advice, and find employment.
By selling Girlboss to Attention Capital, Amoruso is now joining forces with a company whose goal is to obtain and develop innovative media business models. Attention Capital partner Ashlyn Gentry said in an interview that “Girlboss is an internationally known brand that is redefining what it means to be entrepreneurial—it’s not just starting your own business, it’s taking a risk, looking for that next role, making a career switch and taking a step into the unknown. . . [m]illions of women feel more comfortable going on this journey because they know they have Sophia and the global Girlboss community right there with them. The loyalty and passion that this brand captures make it a massive market opportunity, and at Attention Capital, we’re looking forward to working with the team on Girlboss’s expansion.”
Technically a holding company, Attention Capital was founded by a group of media heavyweights and is actively acquiring media and technology platforms that “properly measure and value attention and are positioned to exponentially benefit in a market correction of the attention economy.”
By selling to Attention, Amoruso is, of course, turning over ownership, and some control, of her company; however, she will remain on as CEO while Attention will help steer Girlboss toward profitability.
“I know what my own strengths and weaknesses are,” says Amoruso. “I’m good at brand building, and it was clear that I could trust Joe Marchese [of Attention] and his team . . . [who] are experts at creating successful media companies.”
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