Miroslava Duma, founder of fashion and lifestyle Web site Buro 24/7, and her director of business development, Nasiba Adilova, are flexing their investor muscles. The two — who have become global style influencers, thanks to massive social-media followings (Duma has more than one million Instagram followers) — have made their first high-profile investment, taking part in RewardStyle’s $15 million Series A funding round. The company works with thousands of online influencers, bloggers and retailers, helping them make money by referring their followers to e-commerce sites. Combined, the sales driven by these content creators will have, since the start of her company, fueled more than $1 billion in retail sales by yearend.
You’re building a global network of fashion lifestyle sites. When did you realize you wanted to start investing in other technology ventures?
We’ve been looking for additional ways of monetizing our Buro 24/7 content in more than 10 countries now, since the day we started…and RewardStyle seems like the perfect company to partner with. They have amazing execution and an annualized growth rate of 102 percent since the company’s inception.
How does investing in tech companies complement your existing business?
It goes side-by-side with Buro 24/7. It is virtually a digital media and marketing/consulting company today with more than 10 Web site versions and offices around the world and more in the works.
What kind of companies are you looking to invest in right now?
I always say that idea is 10 percent, while execution is 90 percent. That is why very often the team means much more than the idea. [The] latest projects that would be exciting for me are an e-commerce beauty company, an e-commerce lifestyle company and a messaging app.
Buro 24/7 has yet to enter the American market. Why?
We have been waiting for the right time to do this as the U.S. market is quite saturated and highly competitive.
What are some interesting things in tech that you’ve seen lately?
Definitely social-media marketing company Revfluence, and we love the concept of Birchbox.