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Today, Time Inc. announced its acquisition of HelloGiggles, the no-negativity site founded in 2011 by Zooey Deschanel and her friends Molly McAleer and Rivka Sophia Rossi. The lifestyle site describes itself as a "positive online community for women," covering everything from the new Joan Didion biography to corgi puppy cuteness. The terms of the deal between HelloGiggles and Time Inc. were not disclosed but the Wall Street Journal's source suggested it was in the range of $20 million.
"With Time Inc. as our partner, we'll be able to expand the HelloGiggles mission and inspire and support even more young women with a safe and positive media platform," Deschanel said in a statement.
Time Inc.'s executive vice president and president of People and Entertainment Weekly Rich Battista explained the acquisition to the Wall Street Journal. "We see great potential, because they haven’t had the capital to staff up for video or advertising at the levels they want," Battista told WSJ. "This will also enable them to add more writers and editors. We think they’ll be able to expand into TV, movies, books, e-commerce and events."
HelloGiggles posted a statement today that read in part:
Over the past four years we’ve grown from a small site started by three friends to a media company that stretches far beyond anything we ever dreamed. We’ve added live monthly events, podcasts, daily video, and we even published a book. All the while our readership has grown at a thrilling rate—you’re here with us, every day, and we couldn’t be more grateful.
Under Time Inc., HelloGiggles will continue to stand for the same mission we always have: to bring positive, empowering, smart, funny stories and videos to our readers and to support new female talent and give them a safe place to express themselves across the wilds of the internet.
Meanwhile, AdWeek reported on Friday that Time Inc. is close to acquiring another women's lifestyle site, xoJane and sister beauty site xoVain. Founder Jane Pratt has been looking for a buyer for months since xoJane's owner Say Media decided to get out of the media business and go back to its tech roots. Time Inc. didn't comment on AdWeek's report.