Joor Inc., which operates the Joor wholesale apparel online marketplace, wants to help bring more fashion apparel brands from the United States and Europe to retailers in Asia.
And it’s getting plenty of help from Itochu Corp., a Japan-based “sogo shosha,” or Japanese company that engages in a wide range of businesses, including services and investment to promote international trade.
Itochu announced today it has invested $16 million in Joor, a New York-based online wholesale marketplace that connects more than 8,600 brands across 53 apparel categories with almost 200,000 retailers in 144 countries. Participating brands include such names as Kering, Richemont, Saint Laurent, Kate Spade, Burberry and Free People; retailers purchasing from Joor include Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Printemps and 24 Servres. Yoshihiro Fukushima, executive officer of Itochu, said in a statement that his company reviewed “several other wholesale platforms” before determining that Joor offered the best technology and services for connecting brands and retailers.
“Joor’s dominance in North America and Europe make them the natural choice for expansion into the Japanese market,” he said.
The Series C funding brings Joor’s running total to $36 million. Other investors joining Itochu are prior Joor investors Canaan Partners and Battery Ventures.
Joor, which operates on the web at JoorAccess.com, says it has processed $23 billion in gross merchandise volume since it was founded in 2010. Joor notes that it has processed 3.68 million transactions during that time, with about half of the volume occurring within the past 12 months.
Joor is headed by CEO Kristin Savilia, a former marketplace executive at XO Group Inc., the operator of wedding, home and baby products ecommerce sites The Knot, The Next and The Bump. “At Joor, our focus from day one has been the simplification of the wholesale process for brands and retailers,” says Savilia, who is also a former merchandise buyer for Macy’s. “Our mission is to bring the industry together with one platform. The team at Itochu supports this mission and we are excited to have their expertise and support to enable Joor to expand into Asia.”
The funding announcement today cites a report from global consultants McKinsey & Co. that estimates buyers in Japan spend about 3.6 trillion yen (about U.S.$33 billion) each year on luxury goods, a volume McKinsey projects will grow 3% to 4% over the next two or three years.
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