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December 18, 2023
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Sophia Amoruso joyfully surfs the male wave at her VC firm.

Sophia Amoruso, founder of Nasty Gal and the author of ‘Girlboss,’ has moved into venture capital, founding a firm called Trust Fund. She has reportedly raised around $5 million under Rule 506(b) of the Securities Act, allowing her to raise in public and from a wider group of investors. Notably, her Firm is not specifically investing in female-founded companies; Amoruso is looking to capitalize on all viable opportunities that arise. Thus far, Trust Fund has nine investments, including a social commerce platform and a gig economy marketplace for the dental industry.

Amoruso, who previously championed the use of the term “girlboss”, notes that, while the term has taken on a life of its own, it has customarily been used more as a pejorative than a term of empowerment and inspiration. “I’m exhausted by the girlboss narrative,” Amoruso explains. Consequently, in her new venture, she has avoided focusing on gender-specific terms.

Amoruso started Nasty Gal as an eBay store, eventually turning it into a business with $28 million in annual revenue. Following a period of rapid growth, the company filed for bankruptcy and was sold to retailer Boohoo for $20 million in 2017. Amoruso believes her own entrepreneurial experiences, and the challenges they presented, will provide her with unique insight as an investor. In particular, she is interested in B2B products and services, which she regards as consumer items.

Having moved from the role of founder to investor, Amoruso does not plan on abandoning the marketing acumen that helped her propel Nasty Gal to success. According to her, “it’s my job to invest in companies that drive revenue instead of driving revenue for myself.”

Trust Fund’s portfolio now includes multiple business models ranging from an online shop enabling restaurants to sell merchandise to a creative operations tool for creators and marketers. Amoruso considers a gig economy marketplace for the dental industry as a significant future investment. She also mentioned the idea of an “Etsy for services” that would enable non-professionals to monetize their hobbies without starting a full-fledged business.

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