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Gary Vaynerchuk expands empire into media with acquisition of women’s publisher PureWow

Gary Vaynerchuk, founder of VaynerMedia, acquires PureWow

Serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk has acquired women’s lifestyle media company PureWow.

PureWow was launched in 2010 targeted at women aged between 20 to 40 underserved by traditional women's magazines. It raised $2.5 million in funding in 2015, which Vaynerchuk participated in.

Details of the deal have not been disclosed, but PureWow is thought to have generated around $20m in revenue in 2016 compared to $10m in 2015 and was boasting as much as 10 million monthly uniques in 2016, according to chief executive Ryan Harwood.

Its success in doubling its revenue in the space of year is thanks largely to native advertising which Harwood has said now accounts for 85% of PureWow’s revenue.

As a result of the acquisition, it will form part of a new company - The Gallery - that will act as a sister company to Vaynerchuk's digital marketing agency VaynerMedia. Harwood will become chief executive of The Gallery, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The acquisition of the US-based company could be the first of many media purchases that will make up the online publisher in order to target readers in different demographics. The Gallery will have in-house advertising and marketing expertise, following in the footsteps of the likes of Vice and BuzzFeed’s similar moves to become full-service digital companies.

It’s the antithesis of an increasing trend by publishers to build up their in-house advertising capabilities and work with clients directly, as evidenced by The New York Times’ acquisition of marketing agency Fake Love and Time Inc.’s acquisition of digital ad network Collective Europe.

“It’s been very obvious that the BuzzFeeds and Vices of the world have been aggressively going at the creative agencies,” Vaynerchuk said.

He described the deal as a “foray at a major level into the media side” and that “the internet itself creates an infrastructure that allows people to be involved in a lot of things at once.”

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Jessica Goodfellow

The Drum's media reporter covering everything from publishing, TV, social media, radio and technology.

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