Exclusive: Boss Beauties raises $4.4 million to turn its NFT collection into media IP
Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Former attorney general Loretta Lynch will lead a racial equity audit for Amazon, Glossier signs its first celebrity brand deal, and 10,000 NFTs of women could make for some promising IP. Have a great Wednesday.
– Designing women. Though the NFT market is maturing, it isn’t without risk; look no further than the non-fungible token of Jack Dorsey’s first tweet, which sold for $2.9 million a year ago…but has since lost nearly all of its value.
Still, to some investors, NFTs have huge potential and are emerging as a bonafide asset. Boss Beauties, an NFT collection focused on women’s empowerment, raised $4.4 million in a seed funding round that values the company at $30 million, the group tells Fortune exclusively. Serena Williams’s Serena Ventures and Anu Duggal’s Female Founders Fund participated in the round led by Brit Morin and Randi Zuckerberg’s Offline Ventures. “Building authentic brands and communities in Web3 today will be the multi-billion-dollar, multi-channel brands of tomorrow,” says Morin, who cofounded the women’s crypto community BFF.
Last year, Boss Beauties, a women’s empowerment brand that predates the Web3 craze, released a collection of 10,000 digital portraits of women, even displaying those images at the New York Stock Exchange. Those 10,000 portraits are now the company’s intellectual property, leaving it to work out how to monetize the digital portraits.
The advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy, which also participated in the seed round, has some ideas. Animated series, brand deals, licensing partnerships, and toys could all be the next home for Boss Beauties’ NFT avatars. “Brands are reaching out to us to feature the IP and leverage it together,” says Boss Beauties founder Lisa Mayer.
The company already inked a partnership with Mattel last month to release a collection of Barbie-inspired NFTs. The avatars in the initial collection all have characteristics that could inspire other forms of media; some are Olympic athletes while others are chefs or astronauts or CEOs.
In the male-dominated NFT space, Boss Beauties is trying to visually represent women—and to ensure real-life women don’t miss out on this wealth creation opportunity.
Boss Beauties seems to be following in the footsteps of World of Women, the NFT collection that signed a deal with Reese Witherspoon’s production company Hello Sunshine, but perhaps leaning more toward advertising than movies and TV. Says Mayer: “The NFT part of it is only the start.”
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ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
- Equity by proxy. Former U.S. attorney general Loretta Lynch will conduct a racial equity audit of Amazon's treatment of hourly employees, the company said in a proxy filing. Shareholders, including the New York State Common Retirement Fund, had pressed the company to evaluate whether racial discrimination has negatively affected its workers. Amazon likely hopes to preempt a shareholder vote on the matter through the proxy announcement. Bloomberg
- Return policy. Allyson Felix's shoe brand Saysh has a new return policy: if your shoe size changes during pregnancy, you can exchange your sneakers for a new pair. The track and field star's brand, in a tongue-in-cheek way, refers to the maternity return policy as "intentionally sexist." Footwear News
- Making bank. Walgreens CEO Roz Brewer was the highest-paid female CEO last year, according to a study of 2021 proxy statements by Equilar. Brewer earned $28.3 million in total compensation, $20.2 million of which was through stock awards. No women were among the top 10 earners overall; Brewer's compensation placed her at No. 14, followed by UPS CEO Carol Tome. CNBC
- Good 4 Glossier. Glossier, the beauty brand led by founder and CEO Emily Weiss, has signed 19-year-old pop star Olivia Rodrigo as its first celebrity spokeswoman. The singer will work with the 8-year-old brand on product development, social content, and ad campaigns, and curate a collection of her favorite Glossier products. Bloomberg
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Nadia Shouraboura, who earlier in her career was a supply chain executive on Amazon's S-team, joins the board of directors for 3D-printing company Formlabs. A.I. digital marketing company Scibids hired Nadia Gonzalez as its first chief marketing officer. Drips promoted director of demand generation Elise Andersen to VP of marketing. FanDuel Group hired Spectrum's Tricia Alcamo as chief people officer. Vanta hired Twilio's Stevie Case as its first chief revenue officer. Camp4 Therapeutics appointed Kelly Gold chief financial officer. Ethos hired Nichole Myers as chief underwriter. Qumu named COO Rose Bentley to the president and CEO role.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
- Electability issue? Several GOP midterm candidates face allegations of abuse or violence against women. The allegations have quickly become political—but not disqualifying. Instead, opposing primary candidates are using the reports to argue that putting a candidate with an alleged history of abuse on the general election ballot will allow Democrats to win. NPR
- Play ball. Tennis star Billie Jean King is among a group of high-profile investors who are backing Trailblazer Venture studio, a new incubator supporting startups focused on women in sports. Startups will receive investments ranging from $200,000 to $2 million, and are tackling sports-related issues like wellness, nutrition, and fandoms. New York Times
- Holiday schedule. The jewelry brand Kendra Scott has a new corporate holiday: Mother's Day. Retail associates who work on Sundays will receive time-and-a-half pay while corporate offices will be closed on the following Monday. Fortune
ON MY RADAR
They’re some of Hollywood’s top publicists. Just don't ask them why New York Times
Just between friends Elle
A nonbinary swan, on pointe New York Times
“When you get thrown into this industry, especially as a young woman, you’ve got to learn quickly how to take care of yourself—how to use your voice, how to set boundaries, how to speak up for yourself.”
-Bridgerton actor Simone Ashley.
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