Rebecca Minkoff is continuing on the fashion and tech train, this time launching a venture capital fund dedicated to finding relevant early-stage start-ups.
Run in collaboration with Quotidian Ventures, it plans to identify and invest in six to eight companies per year.
According to Pedro Torres-Mackie, founder and managing director at Quotidian Ventures, the programme will serve as a talent funnel to help identify companies and resources that would best benefit the Rebecca Minkoff brand and the industry at large, reports Glossy.
Speaking at the National Retail Federation’s Retail’s Big Show in New York this week, Uri Minkoff, CEO and president of Rebecca Minkoff, said the brand was inspired to launch a fund off the back of the number of tech companies that got in touch following the introduction of its tech-enabled store concept in 2014. That includes its connected fitting room experience, and more recently its self-checkout concept.
He said the company’s first investment is in 42 Technologies, a big data business working with retailers (including Rebecca Minkoff already), and previously part of the New York Fashion Tech Lab cohort.
Rebecca Minkoff herself added that she hopes the fund will help leverage female entrepreneurs in STEM fields. “There are not enough female engineers and coders working in the tech space to bring their user experience to the conversation when it comes to design,” she said. “As females, we have different user experiences, and so the opportunity to invest in those that have a company that serves women by women, is what excites me the most.”
Torres-Mackie added that he’s particularly interested in growth areas including virtual reality and wearables. “We’ve reached the point where a virtual augmented closet will be an inevitability, and the reason we’re here is to make it happen faster,” he commented.