Cape Town based online retailer gets R100 million investment

 ·25 May 2020

Cape Town based e-commerce fashion retailer RunwaySale says it has received an investment of R100 million from international private equity firm, SPEAR Capital.

The company said it will utilise the investment to drive all-around growth across marketing, stock and production sectors, as well as in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

Co-founded in 2012 by Karl and Elmien Hammerschmidt, who are now the chief executive officer and chief operating officer respectively, RunwaySale describes itself as an ‘exclusive online shopping society’ – a members-only private online shopping club.

The e-tailer hosts more than 300 high-end fashion brands to an exclusive community of shoppers, who check the site, mobile app and social media platforms daily to take advantage of the latest offers.

SPEAR Capital concluded its investment in April.

“E-commerce accounts for one percent of all retail in South Africa and, even before the coronavirus pandemic, was set to grow exponentially,” said Karl Hammerschmidt. “The synergies between the SPEAR Capital team and our own gives us the confidence and practical support we need to develop RunwaySale into a leading player in the local and regional e-commerce market.”

Christophe Gaigneux, who was online chief executive for the European division of TJ Maxx, has been appointed to the RunwaySale advisory board.

“The potential for e-commerce to contribute meaningfully to the local economy has never been greater and RunwaySale will be key to meeting the demand we know is building up in consumers across all demographics in South Africa,” said Gaigneux.

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