PARIS, France — Menswear-focused media, publishing and e-commerce group MenInvest has acquired London-based e-tailer Oki-ni for an undisclosed amount. Oki-ni co-founders Charles Perez and Ben Banks will join MenInvest as shareholders and advisors.
MenInvest was launched in 2010 by French media entrepreneur Marc Ménasé, who previously founded online marketing agency Nextedia, which he sold in 2007 to Lagardère Group, a French media giant, for $68 million. The company is backed by AXA Private Equity, Partech International, 123 Venture and Orkos Capital, and owns three menswear e-commerce websites — Menlook.com, Timefy and Saint Sens — which offer over 300 apparel and accessories brands across a wide range of price points and attract 1.5 million unique visitors per month from over 60 countries.
“This acquisition… is a key piece of our growth strategy to reach €100 million in revenue by 2016,” said Ménasé, who plans to position Oki-ni at the top end of its spectrum of holdings. “This operation also fits into our international expansion strategy. In fact, since the beginning of the MenInvest story, we always had a global project — global from a team and customer standpoint. Oki-ni taking part of MenInvest gives us a good booster to roll out our plan. On top of that, Oki-ni brings a different way to treat the designer segment, which is something important for our growth.”
Originally founded in 2001 as a mixed-use space comprising a gallery and retail store, Oki-ni has cultivated a strong reputation for carrying progressive, directional menswear labels, including Rick Owens, Comme des Garçons, Kenzo and Maison Martin Margiela, as well as special capsule collections developed in collaboration with the likes of Levi’s and Paul Smith. The website attracts over 500,000 unique visitors per month and ships to over 75 countries.
And, indeed, as well as complementing MenInvest’s existing portfolio of sites with its premium positioning, Oki-ni’s large UK-based following — 40 percent of its sales come from the UK — fills a geographic gap for the mainly Europe-focused MenInvest, whose flagship apparel retailer Menlook.com only recently launched an English-language version.
“We decided to partner with MenInvest because we share a dynamic vision for online menswear in our sector,” said Oki-ni co-founder Charles Perez. “They, like us, are a men’s-only premium web business and Oki-ni compliments MenInvest perfectly by adding a super premium tier. With its expertise in digital marketing, MenInvest will help us to significantly push up conversion rates, address the emerging markets and take advantage of economies of scale.”