Skip to main content
BoF Logo

The Business of Fashion

Agenda-setting intelligence, analysis and advice for the global fashion community.

BuzzFeed Sells Complex for $108.6 Million

Kid Cudi performs at ComplexCon 2023.
Kid Cudi performs at ComplexCon 2023. (Getty Images)

Less than two years after BuzzFeed acquired Complex, the streetwear-focussed media and events company, it’s being sold again. This time, it’s to Ntwrk, a company that offers livestream shopping capabilities and runs a marketplace for sneakers, streetwear and other goods. Ntwrk is paying $108.6 million in cash for Complex, less than half of the $300 million BuzzFeed paid for it in 2021.

The new company will be led by Aaron Levant, the co-founder of Ntwrk who also has a long history with Complex, having co-created ComplexCon, the brand’s flagship event, with Complex co-founder Marc Eckō in 2016. The thought is that with the two focussing in the same realm — sneakers, streetwear and culture — they will be able to integrate Ntwrk’s commerce capabilities into Complex’s content. How that will exactly take shape will be determined as the two companies come together, but Levant suggested consumers will be able to buy products featured in a video after watching it. (Complex, however, will retain its editorial independence and Levant said that this integration doesn’t mean the website will be “shilling stuff all the time.”)

“Both speak to the same consumer,” said Levant. “Over the years, I’ve seen attempts from media companies try to delve into commerce, or commerce companies try to delve in media, but it wasn’t really their core competency. Here, you’ve got two companies that are really great at what they do at scale, [we’re] bringing them together into one holistic package.”

Investors in the deal include investment firm Main Street Advisors, Interscope Records co-founder Jimmy Iovine, financial giant Goldman Sachs and Universal Music Group, which will forge a partnership with the new company to create experiences and product collaborations with artists.

ADVERTISEMENT

In announcing the news, onetime digital media darling BuzzFeed, whose share price has fallen by over 90 percent since its March 2021 initial public offering, also shared that the company would be implementing a restructuring that would see it lay off 16 percent of staff to save $23 million this year.

Learn more:

Is This QVC for the YouTube Generation?

Backed by Jimmy Iovine and LeBron James, NTWRK is drops-driven appointment television for Generation-Z. Will the kids queue up?

© 2024 The Business of Fashion. All rights reserved. For more information read our Terms & Conditions

More from Media
How fashion media is adapting its approach to content, platforms and business models.

BoF is One of the World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2024

Fast Company has named The Business of Fashion one of the ‘world’s most innovative companies’ for a second time for demonstrating ‘how a media brand can leverage AI to add reader value rather than erode trust with AI-written news articles.’


view more

Subscribe to the BoF Daily Digest

The essential daily round-up of fashion news, analysis, and breaking news alerts.

The Business of Fashion

Agenda-setting intelligence, analysis and advice for the global fashion community.
CONNECT WITH US ON
The Business of Beauty Global Awards - Deadline 30 April 2024
© 2024 The Business of Fashion. All rights reserved. For more information read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Cookie Policy and Accessibility Statement.
The Business of Beauty Global Awards - Deadline 30 April 2024