AXA leads $13m investment in online marketplace

Glamour Sales will use the capital from AXA and Mandra Capital to expand its Japanese operations and penetrate the Chinese market.

AXA Private Equity and Mandra Capital have invested $13 million in Glamour Sales Holding, a Japanese online retail marketplace, marking the company’s first funding round.

Founded in April 2009, Glamour Sales operates online retail marketplaces though invitation-only memberships and offers discounts on designer goods and lifestyle services. Since it was founded the company has completed more than 80 private sales events.

The capital will be used to scale up the company’s operations in Japan and to launch an online marketplace in China, according to a Glamour Sales’ statement.

AXA Private Equity will provide a significant portion of the capital while Mandra Capital will help the company with its strategic development, corporate finance and merger and acquisition strategies, the statement noted.

Set up in 1996, AXA Private Equity is the captive private equity arm of French insurer AXA Group. The firm manages and advises $25 billion of assets across offices in seven countries: Paris, Frankfurt, London, New York, Singapore, Milan, Zurich and Vienna.

Based in Hong Kong, Mandra Capital is an investment holding company focused on early and growth opportunities in sectors including agriculture, forestry, renewable energy, resources, materials and new technologies. It typically takes minority stakes in companies except in sectors where the firm has operational expertise.