Retail Convergence Raises $25 Million for New Ecommerce Portfolio and Announces Launch of Private Sale Site RueLaLa.com
Investors Include New England Development, Breakaway Ventures, Mugar Enterprises and General Catalyst Partners
BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Retail Convergence Inc., a newly formed corporation comprised of a portfolio of ecommerce companies, today announced it has closed a $25 million Series A round of financing.
“Investing in Retail Convergence allows us to offer our offline partners online alternatives for meeting consumers in all the places they shop.”
Lead investors include New England Development, Breakaway Ventures, Mugar Enterprises and General Catalyst Partners. The first initiative for the new organization included the acquisition of SmartBargains.com, the leading online, off-price retailer. Additionally, Retail Convergence today announced the launch of RueLaLa.com, the invitation-only, private sale ecommerce site driven exclusively by user-generated membership.
RueLaLa.com is an exciting addition to the Retail Convergence portfolio as it offers an entirely new shopping experience. The private sale model provides consumers exclusive access to scheduled sales of upscale brands. Each private sale is brand-specific, lasts 2 days and features current season merchandise. Membership is completely user-generated – the only way an individual can join RueLaLa.com is through an invitation from an existing member. In today’s tepid retail environment this unique peer-to-peer, viral marketing driven model addresses consumers’ demand for unique shopping experiences.
“Brands are looking for innovative ways to reach consumers and consumers are demanding more engaging ways to shop online,” stated Dennis Baldwin, Managing Partner of Breakaway Ventures and former Chief Marketing Officer of Reebok International. “By providing an exciting new shopping experience while vigorously protecting the integrity of our partner brands, Retail Convergence will elevate the ecommerce experience for everyone.”
With the current climate of economic uncertainty, today’s consumers are looking for ways to save money without having to sacrifice quality, service and access to the brands they love. RueLaLa.com’s current season merchandise, priced at a significant discount, answers this demand. Moreover, this model benefits the brand owners who seek creative and discrete distribution channels to generate revenue and manage inventory while continuing to deliver a quality brand experience.
“Retail Convergence will provide new channels and opportunities for both brands and consumers,” explained Ben Fischman, CEO Retail Convergence, Inc. “By leveraging an existing database of more than 3,000,000 qualified ecommerce shoppers, Retail Convergence will be a leader in offering brands new opportunities to connect with consumers and engage in online commerce.”
“In a multi-channel world, our brand and retail partners are constantly looking for new ways to reach consumers,” said Steve Karp, New England Development, Inc. “Investing in Retail Convergence allows us to offer our offline partners online alternatives for meeting consumers in all the places they shop.”
About Retail Convergence, Inc.
Retail Convergence Inc. is a portfolio of ecommerce companies leveraging a common platform, infrastructure, customer file and brand relationships. Current portfolio companies include RueLaLa.com and SmartBargains.com. Retail Convergence is a privately-held company headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. Investors include New England Development, Breakaway Ventures, Mugar Enterprises and General Catalyst.
RueLaLa.com is the invitation-only private sale site for apparel and accessories. The private sale model provides consumers exclusive access to scheduled sales of upscale brands. Each private sale is brand-specific, lasts 2 days and features current season merchandise. Access to RueLaLa.com is by invitation only, driven exclusively by user-generated membership. RueLaLa.com is a Retail Convergence, Inc. company headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.ruelala.com
SmartBargains.com is the leading online retailer for unbelievable finds for women at outrageously low prices. SmartBargains.com has given over 3,000,000 consumers unmatched bragging rights by ensuring their hit rate is higher than any other bargain shopping experience. Since 2000, SmartBargains.com has saved its customers over $1 billion. SmartBargains.com is a venture-backed, privately-held company headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.smartbargains.com.