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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.

PSP Investments and Blue Sky Alternative Investments End Strategic Partnership Agreement

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Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited informed Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) that it agreed to terminate its strategic agreement effective March 31, 2019. In December 2017, Blue Sky Alternative Investments forged an agreement with PSP Investments to assist in committing capital in a number of agricultural investments.

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Yield-Hungry Korean Insurance Capital Backs TSX Broadway

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Mirae Asset Daewoo Co., Ltd., the Seoul-based investment banking firm, has provided a US$ 375 million loan for a redevelopment in New York’s Times Square. It joins L & L Holding Company, Maefield Development, and Fortress Investment Group who are bringing the development known as TSX Broadway to life. The building is at 1568 Broadway in Manhattan. TSX Broadway, a US$ 2.5 billion project when all equity financing is added in, will allow for renovations and expansion of the 46-storey building. An LED screen, which is not an uncommon sight in the Big Apple, will wrap around the corner of the tower. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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OFFICIALS: Saudi Crown Prince Denies Interest in Acquiring Manchester United

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The Saudi Arabian government dispelled rumors that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will acquire football club Manchester United. However, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) had talks regarding sponsorship with the football club. Manchester United signed a partnership deal with Saudi Arabia’s General Sports Authority in 2017.

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