b8ta today announced that it has acquired Re:store, a 1 year old startup that brings retail-as-a-service to online fashion brands at Maiden Lane in San Francisco. With this acquisition, b8ta marks a bold expansion in fashion & lifestyle as the industry looks for innovation.
Launched in August 2019, Re:store was founded by Selene Cruz after she bootstrapped her fashion brand out of her studio apartment. Seeing firsthand the need to get discovered and build community, she turned her studio into a shared showroom. Re:store went on to raise $1.7M in pre-seed funding led by Sequoia and SPC, one of the few Latinas raising venture funding in the Valley. The company has quickly become a go-to experiential retail partner for Instagram famous brands like Sezane, H&M’s & Other Stories, Nasty Gal, Storets as well as DTC startups experimenting with physical retail including Thinx, 11 Honore, MM La Fleur, and Sleepy Jones. Re:store innovated IRL distribution with their retail-as-a-service model that provided turnkey placement with a proprietary dashboard, giving real time visibility to automate merchandising, buying & logistics. Following their mission of building community within retail, their third floor was dedicated to events & coworking, helping launch local brands and host cult influencers like Jessica Alizzi, Alyssa Coscarelli, Karla Deras, and Vivid Wu.
b8ta already operates the largest experiential retail footprint in the world with some two dozen outlets across the United States, Dubai, and Japan. To date, b8ta’s retail footprint has seen over 50 million product engagements and launched more than 1,000 brands. In addition, b8ta licenses its store operations technology and works with premier partners such as Made by Google and Market @ Macy’s. They made headlines last year for bringing back Toys ‘R’ Us during the holiday season. b8ta has raised over $88.5M in funding and is part owned by Macy’s, Inc. In Fall 2019, b8ta launched its inaugural Forum by b8ta store in West Hollywood, CA with a keen eye toward entering the fashion and lifestyle market.
“The future of retail is discovery,” said Vibhu Norby, co-founder and CEO of b8ta. “I am a huge fan of what Selene built at Re:store, and we’re incredibly excited to add their Maiden Lane location to our portfolio.” The acquisition was a mixed offering of cash, equity and contingent consideration, with Re:store maintaining licensing rights while handing off the business dealings to b8ta. Existing brand partners will see Maiden Lane rebranded under Forum by b8ta, and now be able to expand into West Hollywood, NYC’s Hudson Yards, and future unannounced locations in b8ta’s lifestyle pipeline. They will also have immediate access to Forum by b8ta’s online marketplace. Selene Cruz will stay on in an advisory role with b8ta to support brand curation and community experience.
“The b8ta team has been an inspiration since the beginning. This acquisition is a big win in our mission to create a true fashion-meets-tech platform. We’re excited to finally be able to tap into our waitlist of brands and give them access to omni retail beyond Maiden Lane. Between b8ta’s massive network of stores and strong execution performance in such a short time, and our thoughtful approach to curation, storytelling and customer experience, we’re excited to work with their team to push for a new future of retail.” – Selene Cruz.
By acquiring Re:store, Forum by b8ta will be offering “one cohesive solution” for the needs of fashion and lifestyle brands seeking retail distribution online and offline without the hassle.