Necole Kane’s urban lifestyle website xoNecole.com is getting a major financial boost from Hollywood producer Will Packer.
Packer announced Thursday that his production firm, Will Packer Media (WPM), has acquired xoNecole.com (without disclosing the financial terms of the deal). The producer behind the 2017 smash hit Girls Trip says the acquisition of the millennial-focused brand will allow his firm to directly connect to the site’s targeted audience. Plus, he plans to adapt content produced by xoNecole for television and film.
“It fits perfectly with what I’m doing with my company,” Packer told Variety. “I was looking for someone I could partner with who has a highly engaged audience and speaks authentically to them.” In a press release, Packer described Kane as “amazingly gifted in her ability to connect with women and deliver much-needed engaging, smart and empowering content that is aspirational and impactful.”
The investment will allow xoNecole to expand its content production on multiple platforms, develop a newsletter, and produce live events. Kane’s original website, NecoleBitchie.com, was a pioneer in celebrity gossip blogs and launched her career as a celebrated, high-profile blogger. However, the popular site shut down eight years after its launch. Kane has admitted to financial mishandlings, settling a million-dollar lawsuit, and going broke. In 2016, she created xoNecole.com with a new purpose and image.
“When I closed down my celebrity gossip blog in 2015, it was at the height of its success. Although it was a very risky and terrifying move, I knew I wanted to offer my readers content that was more empowering and purposeful, would inspire them to live their best lives, and was deeply rooted in giving women permission to evolve,” said Kane in a statement. She added that the acquisition by WPM is a “dream come true” that will help the xoNecole brand grow and expand. “I couldn’t think of a better partnership.”
On Instagram, Kane said Packer first approached her with a proposal to buy her website in June. “He told me he believed in what I was already doing, and he wanted to fund my dream,” she wrote.
Packer, who graced the September 2014 cover of Black Enterprise, praised Kane, who has overcome financial loss, depression, and anxiety. “She’s had ups and downs, but she’s a survivor and a fighter. She’s also vulnerable and admits her shortcomings,” he said.
If you've been following me for awhile, you know the ups and downs. Lost both of my parents before I finished college. Slept on couch after couch, had job after job and finally landed success as a gossip blogger. But I knew that that wasn't going to be the gist of my story and that wouldn't define my legacy. And so I took the risk and left that celebrity gossip site in 2015. I risked everything not knowing what was on the other side. I launched a women's lifestyle site @xonecole shortly afterward with hopes to create a platform that was empowering to young women. But soon after I found myself knee deep in struggle again, because my dreams were way bigger than my budget. It’s excruciating when you are feeling stuck because of the lack of resources to have a dream fully come to fruition. That’s most entrepreneurs daily struggle. If I haven't learned anything in life, it's that there will be a lot of risks before there are rewards. But as long as you stay the path, one day someone will enter your life that will restore all that you've lost. I didn't know @willpowerpacker that well prior to this and so his call in January 2017 was unexpected. He was offering me an opportunity with his company, one that I didn't have the confidence to do. But he stayed in touch and in June 2017, he told me he believed in what I was already doing, and he wanted to fund my dream. I cried on spot. As a father of four (two of them being teenage daughters) Will is extremely passionate about content that elevates young women of color. That is what stood out to me the most and why I knew that this was the best partnership for the brand. I want to thank everyone for the kind words and the tremendous amount of support! I'm still waking up every day wondering if it is all a dream. I have so much work ahead of me but I'm so ready. (Link in bio)