Australian online shopping club OzSale.com.au has acquired market competitor Buyinvite.com.au for an undisclosed sum, as it ramps up its operations both here and overseas.
OzSale, founded in 2006 by its chairman Jamie Jackson, is a members-only online shopping club, which describes itself as a “doorway to affordable designer fashion”.
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The business, which is part of the APAC Sale Group, has buyers in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Europe, who negotiate deals directly with suppliers to offer exclusivity to their members.
With more than 250 staff, OzSale says it sells a product every five seconds via its websites, across five countries. The business has now acquired Buyinvite.com.au for an undisclosed sum.
Founded by Ben Hollenstein in 2008, Buyinvite is an online sales events club, whereby members search for designer brands – across clothing, shoes and electronics – at discounted prices.
According to Jackson, the acquisition of Buyinvite will give both businesses a combined database of more than five million members.
“We thought [Buyinvite] had quite incredible growth in the three years they’ve been in the environment,” Jackson told StartupSmart.
Jackson is quick to point out the Buyinvite team will remain the same, insisting that was a key part of negotiations.
“Buyinvite will run as a separate site. It won’t change at all. The branding will stay the same,” Jackson says.
“The buying teams won’t change. The management team won’t change, but Ben will come on the board of OzSale.”
According to Hollenstein, who is currently in Los Angeles, Buyinvite was in discussions with OzSale for six months regarding the prospect of working together.
“The online space is fast-paced and competition is increasing,” Hollenstein said in a statement.
“Now is the right time to build upon our foundations and leverage OZSale.com.au’s infrastructure and scale across all of its core markets.”
“We have some exciting plans for the brand, which include expanding into new non-apparel categories.”
Jackson says OzSale is equally as focused on the future, with plans to ramp up its operations in Australia and New Zealand, and also overseas.
“We’re pushing for overseas markets – South East Asia, the Philippines, Korea and the Indonesian markets,” he says.
“Korea we’re hoping to have in the next two months, and the same with the Philippines. Malaysia is already open and Thailand is going very well. Indonesia is also in discussions.”
“We also just signed a deal in China – we’re going to be supplying and also taking products form a very large site in China.”
Buyinvite is the first acquisition for OzSale, but, according to Jackson, it might not be the last.
“We’re looking at numerous other options out there. It’s about finding a bolt-on that will add value,” he says.
Jackson attributes OzSale’s success to his team, insisting “I couldn’t have done this myself”.
“We all work extremely hard with incredible focus. The energy I get from a young team is incredible. They’re all creating a new online shopping portal for the Australian market,” he says.
“There’s so much more to do. The Australian online environment is still very young [but] my feeling is that Australia and New Zealand will be stronger than the US and UK.”