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Financial Times takes minority stake in subscription B2B website Business of Fashion

Financial Times Business of Fashion

The Financial Times has bought a minority stake in B2B news website The Business of Fashion, which sits behind a paywall.

BOF, founded in 2007 by fashion business adviser Imran Amed, claims to have more than 35,000 paying members. The site has more than 100 staff working across London, New York, Paris and Shanghai.

It has received an undisclosed amount of investment funding from the FT, which is owned by Japanese firm Nikkei. The size of the stake has also not been revealed.

As part of the deal, the FT said its consulting arm, FT Strategies, will provide BOF with “industry-leading expertise in subscription technology”.

It said BOF “retains complete editorial independence from investors”, which include Index Ventures, Felix Capital and luxury brand Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, according to company data site Crunchbase.

FT chief executive John Ridding said the business newspaper’s investment in BOF would give the national title “greater presence in the B2B and industry agenda”.

He added: “We are really impressed by the quality and dynamism of The Business of Fashion. There is a natural alignment between our global mindset and our focus on reader revenue to support quality journalism.

“We are excited to partner with Imran and his team to explore those synergies further.”

Business of Fashion charges subscribers £216 per year for annual subscriptions or £27 per month for monthly subs.

Several major fashion brands – including Levi’s, Prada and Gucci – have corporate subscriptions to the website.

Subscribers are given unlimited access to the Business of Fashion website and also receive its bi-annual print editions.

Amed said the partnership with the FT “will enable us to learn from the FT’s expertise and to find creative ways to work together in fulfilling BoF’s mission of bringing together the world’s largest community of fashion professionals”.

The FT’s purchase of a minority stake in the firm builds on its existing luxury coverage in the How to Spend It magazine and its annual Business of Luxury event.

The FT bought a majority stake in Dutch digital media and events company The Next Web for an undisclosed sum in March. The Next Web reports on the tech sector and has a database on start-up investments.

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