Founded by business consultant Imran Amed, Business of Fashion is the go-to B2B blog for everything that is happening in the business of fashion. Primarily through a daily email newsletter that shares links and stories, Iman has grown a following into a community over 1 million strong.
But yesterday the big news in fashion business was that BoF has raised $2.1 Million in venture backing from Index Ventures, LVMH, Samos Investments (investor in Betfair and online shopping site Ocado), Net-a-Porter investor Carmen Busquets, Novel TMT Ventures and Advancit Capital (an early stage media entertainment and tech fund launched by CBS/Viacom’s vice chairman Shari Redstone).
BofF joins fashion media site Refinery29 who just raised $3.5M in January and StyleCaster who raised $1M in 2011 and $4M in 2009. It’s incredibly rare for a fashion media site to raise funding but not at all surprising for BoF. Much like veteran tech journalist Sarah Lacy used her industry contacts to easily raise $2.5M for her own tech site PandoDaily last year (pre-launch even), Amed has already used his platform to build industry connections.
About the same time that FT Accelerator heard its first fashiontech pitches in San Francisco Amed placed a call for Elevator Pitch submissions in January last year looking to tap into the bursting tech seen. Not only did he showcase the pitches from startups like Stylitics, The IOU Project and Couture Rani, but he pulled together an impressive panel of judges to give their feedback.
The phrase “learn by teaching” comes to mind.
However, the investment from LVMH may prove to be what AllthingsD calls a “Pando problem” where BoF may have an inherent bias in reporting on any of the companies that the conglomerate owns. Amed will have to be transparent in stating the company as an investor in all concerning articles.
In all, this is a big win for the fashion industry in general. While I don’t believe the BoF is very focused much less knowledgable about FashionTech companies, the site has done a great job of bringing business smarts to an otherwise creative industry.
The announcement also came with a beautiful new dynamic and responsive website. www.BusinessOfFashion.com