B8ta on Thursday announced that it had acquired Re:store, a retail-as-a-service startup that provides its tech to online fashion brands at Maiden Lane shopping center in San Francisco.
Re:store, founded in August 2019 by Selene Cruz, has worked with retailers and brands like H&M's & Other Stories, Nasty Gal, M.M.La Fleur and Thinx. The startup created its retail-as-a-service technology to let stores and brands manage their merchandising, buying and logistics from one dashboard, according to the announcement.
The acquisition price was not disclosed, but the deal was made with a mixture of cash, equity and contingent consideration, B8ta said. As part of the deal, Re:store will keep the licensing rights, but B8ta will manage the business side.
In October 2019, B8ta launched its Forum concept to advance beyond electronics and into fashion and lifestyle retail. Now, the company is rebranding Re:store's Maiden Lane business within the Forum platform, enabling brand partners of Re:store to expand to West Hollywood, New York City's Hudson Yards and other future locations, the company said.
Re:store's brand partners will also have immediate access to Forum by B8ta's online marketplace, the company said. Cruz will stay on in an advisory role to help B8ta with brand curation and community experience efforts, per the announcement.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic upended in-store shopping, it wasn't clear whether Re:store's model could last for a long time. But as B8ta highlighted in the acquisition press release, the company went on to raise $1.7 million in pre-seed funding led by Sequoia and SPC. As it hosted events and supported local brands, the startup also partnered with influencers like Jessica Alizzi, Alyssa Coscarelli, Karla Deras and Vivid Wu, the company noted.
Meanwhile, B8ta was taking e-commerce brands offline into experiential retail, too. But early on in the pandemic, the company laid off corporate employees and furloughed in-store staff in order to "give b8ta the possibility to reopen," CEO Vibhu Norby said at the time.