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Time Inc. has acquired Hello Giggles, the online community for women co-founded by New Girl star Zooey Deschanel.
The deal was valued at around $30 million, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.
Hello Giggles was founded in 2011 by The Hills producer Sophia Rivka Rossi, former Gawker blogger Molly McAleer and Deschanel. It was described at the time as a sort of female Funny or Die. Deschanel was key to early promotion of the site, posting articles and videos alongside other frequent contributors.
As one of a number of online destinations designed for women — including Gawker’s Jezebel, Refinery29, The Hairpin, Bustle and Vice’s recently launched Broadly — Hello Giggles has carved a niche for itself as a positive site for professional women that is meant to “inspire a smile,” according to its website. It joins a growing number of digital media firms being acquired or taking outside capital from traditional media companies. Business Insider was recently acquired by German publishing company Axel Springer, and NBCUniversal recently invested in BuzzFeed and Vox Media.
Hello Giggles joins Time Inc. as the company seeks to build its brand beyond its print publications with the launch of digital offerings such as online video platform 120 Sports. According to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported news of the sale, Hello Giggles will become part of Time’s People and Entertainment Weekly group, giving those outlets a direct line to the young, digitally-savvy women who regularly read the site.
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