As we reported earlier today, Duke McKenzie has been appointed as the new CEO of eLUXE, and will be taking over for its founder Joanna Track who has done a good job at creating the fashion based site. The company has also announced it has secured $2.1 million in funding from a number of early stage investors. These include Silicon Valley’s Just Business, Ontario’s Courtney Ventures Inc., and Silicon Alley entrepreneur and executive Mike Keriakos. The new funding will be used to help further expand eLUXE’s retail and media business.
“eLUXE is a leader in the online retail industry and I am excited to help guide our continued growth,” says McKenzie. “Retail and media have evolved, in fact they are converging. Consumers now expect content to be readable, watchable and shoppable— and eLUXE is on the forefront of fulfilling this expectation.“
The exit of Joanna has surprised many readers of Profectio and we’ve heard some rumours that she was let go, but during our conference call with Duke today, he stated there will continue to be a strong working relationship between Joanna and the board, regardless of the official circumstances a new CEO taking over. He also would not confirm the rumours we’ve heard. He also conveyed his excitement and suggested there will be some big things coming in the next 6 months of business, as new products will be brought to the market. For eLUXE, the challenge they face is to disrupt the “status quo” of shopping in Canada, and continue to grow their convergence of merging retail and online. In some ways eLUXE was involved in the branded content business before it as popular as it is today with new startups launching daily. He also shared the company has plans to expand beyond the “digital border” of Canada and could possible look towards the United States as its next growth market.
One thing we’ll be watching close is whether a female fashion site such as eLUXE can be run by a male, but Duke commented that while there is a strong team in place who focuses on the creative side of the business, and he can then focus on the business side. At Uptrend Media which he Co-Founded and was CEO of till being sold to Mediative, he focused 70% of the company’s advertising revenues from sites that were predominately female oriented, so perhaps he has learned a thing or two and is the right person for the job.