Montreal fashion startup Frank And Oak announced the closure of a US $16 million financing round today. The round was led by the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. The round of financing was completed by other institutional and private investors, including Goodwater Capital and Investissement Québec.
The new funding will allow the business to accelerate development of its digital experience and support its online growth in North American and the rest of the world. It also plans to implement AI technology in its Style Plan program of personalized recommendations, not unlike the AI stylist released by Chic Marie at the end of last year.
Founded in 2012 by CEO Ethan Songand COO Hicham Ratnani, Frank And Oak first made a name for itself selling cutting-edge men’s fashion on the internet. The company launched its women’s line in the summer of 2016, and has since expanded to 16 brick-and-mortar boutiques.
“Frank And Oak is extremely proud to have obtained the support of exceptional investors in this round of financing led by the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec,” said Ethan Song, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Frank And Oak . “Our alliance with this strong institution and our other key partners demonstrates the level of confidence in our business. We are dedicated to the idea of investing in a technology that is redefining retail and transforming the shopping habits of tomorrow’s consumers.”
In the fall of 2016, Frank And Oak also pledged to donate at least four $10,000 grants to Canadian and American startups several times per year as part of a new initiative seeking to give young tech companies a much-needed boost.
“While the digital transformation is now a rite of passage for retail businesses, Frank And Oak is one of the visionary companies that was a precursor of online commerce in Quebec,” said Christian Dubé, Executive Vice-President, Quebec of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. “We are pleased to invest in the business as it continues to innovate with technology.”
Alongside news of the funding is the announcement that Éric Simon, Frédéric Boivin, Brad Evans, and Joanne Nemeroff have all joined Frank And Oak’s executive team. Simon has returned as Chief Financial Officer, perviously serving as Vice-President, Finance and Administration at Fibrenoire. Boivin joined the company as Vice-President of Merchandising and Evans as National Sales Manager. And Nemeroff now serves on the Board of Directors.
In a landscape rife with e-commerce competition, Frank And Oak stands out by offering a unique and personalized shopping experience. Implementing AI and streamlining their supply chain will take that ethos one step further.