Girlboss CEO launches 'LinkedIn for women' platform

Platform to connect 'ambitious' women

By Sara Ashley O'Brien, CNN Business

Girlboss logo.

LOS ANGELES - Girlboss CEO and Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso has launched her newest venture: A LinkedIn-like platform for connecting "ambitious" women.

Called the Girlboss professional network, it aims to be a space for everyone from entrepreneurs to gig-economy workers to "ask questions, exchange ideas, and connect with each other," according to its website.

Its the latest extension of Amoruso's Girlboss brand -- the media startup named after her 2014 autobiography by the same title.

Amoruso rose to fame as the founder and CEO of Nasty Gal, the popular women's online clothing retailer she started in 2006. But the startup filed for bankruptcy protection in late 2016, and some of Nasty Gal was later sold to Boohoo.com, a UK-based fast fashion company. An ill-timed Netflix sitcom based on Amoruso's "#Girlboss" autobiography was canceled after one season in June 2017.

Amoruso, however, retained a cult following. She began hosting Girlboss "rallies," which are described as "part conference, part experiential inspiration wonderland." The first of which was held in August 2017.

Her new social network intends to serve as a digital extension to its rallies. It will have weekly "digital firesides" with thought leaders and allow members to access video recordings of sessions from past Girlboss Rally conferences.

The signup process includes answering three questions: "I'm good at ____," "I'd like to learn ___," and "I'd like to meet ___."

Members can flesh out their profiles with details about "their journey" -- or past work experience -- and include their Zodiac sign and Myers-Briggs personality type. Members can also add a link to an Instagram account and a website.

"A gorgeous profile that isn't just your resume, it's your story," the FAQ page reads.

Amoruso isn't the only female founder trying to cater specifically to professional women. In 2017, Whitney Wolfe Herd, the founder and CEO of Bumble, launched a networking service called Bumble Bizz for finding career contacts. Similarly, the idea behind Bumble Bizz is to better allow for virtual networking by swiping for contacts.

And others such as entrepreneur Gesche Haas, who started Dreamers // Doers, have leveraged Facebook's platform to create closed Groups for networking. On Dreamers // Doers, for example, members talk openly about anything from funding to fertility, often forming friendships. (Girlboss also has a closed Facebook Group called Girlboss Gang.)

Girlboss' platform contains a message board, where members can engage in group conversations and private messaging for striking up conversations with other members. In October 2018, Amoruso said the network's development was being funded with a $3.5 million investment round led by Initialized Capital.

In an introductory post, Amoruso wrote: "This is a place where honesty is mandatory and the commitment of everyone within the community is to learn, grow, and help one another."

On her own profile, Amoruso said she's looking to "learn how to scale a successful technology business."

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