Marvin Traub Associates, best known for its work with brands, bricks-and-mortar retailing and malls, is gaining a bigger foothold in technology.
The consulting company has taken a minority stake in Ixtens, a New York-based technology firm that powers online marketplaces with third-party vendors. Ixtens is working to establish a Marks & Spencer marketplace enabling the British retailer to venture into new categories and plug into vendors it currently doesn’t carry, and in the past helped Amazon build up its marketplace.
“We’ve been very supportive of brick-and-mortar retailing, but we have also been playing a role in evolving technology and how it all fits in together,” said Traub, the chief executive officer of the firm bearing his name, in an interview Friday with Mortimer Singer, president of Marvin Traub Associates.
Traub noted that Ixtens represents his firm’s fourth technology investment. The others are Venda, an e-commerce platform; Talk Market, a video sku production company, and Shop My Label, a social commerce Web site to be launched later this year. In each case, Marvin Traub Associates holds a minority stake.
“All of these technology companies welcome us as more than an investor. We are also strategic advisers, helping them with their distribution,” Traub added.
Ixtens recently received $4.6 million in Series A financing led by Greycroft Partners and BV Capital with participation from Marvin Traub Associates, which will market the seven-year-old Ixtens to retailers.
“The biggest constraint for online retailers is inventory financing. We built Ixtens to solve this problem,” said Eugene Nikiforov, Ixtens co-founder and chief product officer. “Our marketplace solution allows retailers to take their online sales capabilities to an entirely new level.”
“For the first time, an online retailer can integrate all elements of their Web site and supply chain, driving transactions without ever touching physical inventory,” said Ian Sigalow, partner at Greycroft.