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CDPQ Fits into Menswear Retailer Frank and Oak in Series C Round

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Montreal-based online fashion retailer Frank and Oak raised US$ 16 million in Series C financing led by local institutional investor Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ). The company’s fourth fundraising effort also saw contributions from returning investors such as Goodwater Capital, a consumer technology-oriented investment firm out of California, and state-backed provincial financier Investissement Quebec.

Origin Story

Frank and Oak first launched in 2012 as a one-stop-shop for men looking to easily up their fashion game through the brand’s personalized recommendation newsletter, but has since expanded its offerings to include womenswear and accessories as well. The company has also harnessed the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to help customers look their best with its Style Plan program, which lets members pick and choose items that catch their fancy from a monthly box curated by their stylist and shipped straight to their door.

For Frank and Oak co-founders Ethan Song and Hicham Ratnani, bringing on new investors like CDPQ was about more than just the capital they can bring to the table. “It was important to us to find not only investors, but also partners that believe in our product and our offer as a business, and that we can count on their expertise to contribute to the growth of our organization,” said the pair in an email to SWFI.

Proceeds from the round will enable Frank and Oak to continue development of its vertically integrated supply chain, bolster implantation of its smart-learning recommendation features, and support growth of its online business in North America and other parts of the world. The company has also brought on new talent to its executive team, including Frédéric Boivin as Vice President of Merchandising and Brad Evans as National Sales Manager. Joanne Nemeroff, former president of Limited Brands Canada and La Senza, to serve on its supervisory board.

Online fashion retailers are getting the attention of large assets owners. Another fashion e-commerce outfit Farfetch touts Singapore’s Temasek Holdings as a backer and is looking at possibly conducting an initial public offering.

Scatec Solar Places Big Solar Bet in Bangladesh

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Oslo-based Scatec Solar ASA, a publicly-traded independent power producer operating in the emerging market solar development space, plans to construct and own a 800 mega watt photovoltaic solar power plant in Chandpur, Bangladesh. Scatec Solar has solar assets scattered across numerous emerging markets such as South Africa, Rwanda, Honduras, Egypt, Jordan and the Czech Republic.

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APFC Sells $1.4 Billion Stake in Simpson Housing

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The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation (APFC) embarked on a major shift in its real estate portfolio by selling a 50% ownership stake in Denver-based Simpson Housing LLLP for US$ 1.4 billion. Simpson Housing had made up roughly 24.7% of APFC’s US$ 5.6 billion real estate portfolio. The other owner of Simpson Housing is that State of Michigan Retirement Systems.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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ISIF Invests in Cybersecurity Firm Vectra

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The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) committed €10 million to Vectra Networks, Inc., a San Jose, U.S.-based cybersecurity company. The investment capital will assist Vectra in creating a research and development center in Dublin.

ISIF is part of a larger funding round of €30 million. These other investors include Khosla Ventures, Accel Partners, DAG Ventures, AI Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures and Wipro Ventures.

Kevin Dillon, who is the former Head of Microsoft Ireland and a Managing Partner at Atlantic Bridge, will join the board of directors at Vectra.

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