The Journey To Building Blavity, Inc.
When I decided to leave my corporate job in 2014 and start a company, one primary goal inspired me: to build a platform that mattered to people who too often felt unseen and unheard.
That platform was Blavity -- a media and tech startup with a vision to unite and prioritize black millennials by serving the many aspects of our multifaceted lives. Together, with the tireless work of my co-founders and college friends Aaron Samuels, Jeff Nelson and Jonathan Jackson, Blavity was born.
However, over the years Blavity has grown into so much more than just our online site. The company has evolved from one brand to five -- some we’ve acquired, and some we’ve built ourselves -- all serving multicultural readers across a variety of important spaces and themes.
Behold, Blavity, Inc.
On Tuesday, June 19, we officially launched Blavity, Inc. -- our corporate brand that is home to all the information on our growing startup and the separate brands under the Blavity umbrella: Blavity News, Shadow and Act, 21Ninety, AfroTech and Travel Noire.
Each of these brands serves a specific purpose and audience, but at their core, they highlight vital qualities that we hold in high regard: information, telling our own stories, wellness, innovation and exploration.
We built Blavity.com as a home for authentic storytelling where black millennials, in particular, can visit to stay informed and share their perspectives. It has since grown over the years, reaching more than 1.8 million unique readers a month and serving daily essential and inspiring news content (if you haven’t signed up for our daily newsletter, you’re missing out).
Shadow and Act (S&A) is a premier digital destination Blavity Inc. acquired in 2017 that provides the latest news on black talent onscreen, onstage, in Hollywood and across the web. Very few platforms prioritize black entertainment and film news, but S&A has never strayed focus. Started by Tambay Obenson seven years ago, it is a daily news publication with a newsletter that many of today’s most prominent storytellers like Ava DuVernay, Charles King, Shonda Rhimes and more subscribe to (you can sign up here).
Lifestyle site 21Ninety serves the everyday multicultural millennial woman who is looking to be the best possible version of themselves. As a digital hub for resources surrounding beauty, wellness, health and career, 21Ninety is the one place where black women can come together to learn, grow and discover. We help women to transform their lives by providing exhilarating experiences like our annual women’s conference, Summit 21. More than 1,200 women attended our most recent summit in Atlanta in early June (watch the recap here).
The summit is comparable to our annual AfroTech conference in Silicon Valley where, for the last three years, Blavity Inc. has produced an invigorating multi-day experience with the largest gathering of black people in the tech industry. Through AfroTech, both the conference and our brand website (coming soon), we aim to bring together black entrepreneurs and innovators to help them create their visions on their terms and build a better future for us all. Check out more info on this year’s AfroTech conference here.
Lastly, there’s Travel Noire -- a booming black travel platform founded by Zim Ugochukwu and acquired by Blavity Inc. in August 2017. Travel Noire’s robust black travel guides, daily content and incredible travel experiences make it a standout service for those looking to spark their wanderlust.
It’s been a busy four years, and I’m incredibly proud of how our small team has worked together to bring high-quality digital and IRL experiences to our community. Across our five brands, Blavity Inc. reaches millions of unique visitors per month and even more in impressions across the web and social platforms. Whether it’s getting informed about critical political issues and candidates, catching up on the latest film reviews, identifying ways to master your mornings, learning tips to help build your app or finding advice on your next travel destination, Blavity, Inc. has you covered.
We are a team that is as diverse as the audience we serve, working relentlessly from cities and countries around the world to disrupt and reclaim our narratives.
At Blavity, Inc., we believe it’s important to create spaces for those of us who are made to feel as though we don’t belong or that we’re not good enough -- because the truth is, we do, and we are.
To learn more about our company and how you can work with us, check us out here.
P.S. Feeling inspired? We’re hiring in Atlanta and Los Angeles.