Fung Capital has added online prowess to its portfolio by taking a minority position in Onestop Internet Inc., an e-commerce service provider to apparel brands and retailers, with an investment of $9.15 million.
The size of Fung Capital’s minority stake in Rancho Dominguez, Calif.-based Onestop was not disclosed, but the investment aligns with the firm’s strategy of putting mostly $1 million to $10 million toward fast-growing e-commerce and supply chain companies. The private investment arm of sourcing titan Li & Fung Group’s controlling shareholders, William and Victor Fung, has already delved into e-commerce with investments in New York-based online analytics firm Proclivity Systems in 2008 and Chinese women’s fashion e-commerce company Moonbasa earlier this year.
“Customers are asking for various ways to get into e-commerce, and we would like to learn about that as well. It is a mutually beneficially relationship,” said John Seung, a partner in Fung Capital who will sit on Onestop’s board. He continued, “With us having the Asian network, we can really help the company in that regard. The big growth, aside from the international expansion, is helping companies to drive traffic to their sites. That is where the value add is, and that’s hard to replicate.”
Onestop, which competes with the much larger Amazon.com Inc. and eBay Inc.-owned GSI Commerce to develop and operate online stores, has built a customer roster strong in denim and contemporary apparel companies with online sales of $5 million to $25 million annually. In total, its 35 clients, including Seven For All Mankind, J Brand, Rag & Bone, Splendid, Ella Moss, True Religion, John Varvatos, Nicole Miller and William Rast, have generated around $150 million in annual sales via their Web sites, and Onestop takes a commission on their online sales.
Chief executive officer John Tomich, who founded Onestop in 2004 with Brett Morrison and Steve Tandberg, said the company has been profitable since the beginning and has registered yearly growth “closer to the triple digits than the double digits,” although he declined to be more specific. In 2008, Onestop raised $13.4 million in a Series A round of funding from Bessemer Venture Partners, which was used to support Onestop’s interactive marketing and technology platforms.
Of the latest Series B investment from Fung Capital, Tomich said, “We didn’t necessarily need the operating capital, but we thought that Victor and William Fung, and Li & Fung would be a very strategic relationship for us.” Although Onestop has the capacity to handle international transactions on the Web sites it runs, it only has in-country distribution capabilities in Canada and the U.S. By the fourth quarter of next year, the company plans to start distribution within China and Europe. Onestop currently has 250 employees.
Tomich said, “In China, we are talking not only to brands that we have that want to sell directly to Chinese consumers and want to have an inventory position in China. The other group is brands that we service currently that just want us to operate their Chinese e-commerce. They might already have something going in the U.S., but they don’t have anything in China.”
In the short term, Seung said, “We certainly want to concentrate on the domestic market.” He anticipated Onestop’s growth would also be propelled by its ability to provide customers with insight into online shoppers. “The company has a very unique advantage because they focus on a specific segment. They are gathering a lot of data about this very targeted customer base of younger, more affluent people who buy premium denim,” he said. “The next stage is really leveraging the data to add real differentiated value for our customer base.”
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye