Follow-On Investment in Star Team Building Relationship Commerce Platform that Allows Consumers to Conveniently Buy Great and Distinct Products Directly from Tastemakers They Follow and Trust
NEW YORK -- April 26, 2010 -- OpenSky announced today the closing of a $6 million Series B financing led by Highland Capital Partners and Canaan Partners. This investment brings the total raised to $11 million by the year old New York startup that is re-imaging retail in today’s distributed media environment. The new investment will allow OpenSky to continue to move aggressively to scale its proprietary relationship commerce platform.
OpenSky is changing online commerce by focusing squarely on the importance of relationships in the commerce equation. By creating a platform where online tastemakers can connect to the most unique products and then share them to their audiences, OpenSky enables consumers to conveniently purchase goods directly from the people they follow and trust. OpenSky further supports these relationships by providing the consumer with a 365-day return guarantee and the ability to provide ongoing feedback to all parties.
“We’re aligning commerce around 21st Century relationships. In today’s retail landscape, big box retail and impersonal online destinations have removed any of the connection between the people who sell and those that shop,” said John Caplan, Founder and CEO of OpenSky. “At OpenSky, we believe that the connections between passionate people, product creators and consumers make all the difference in creating the most trusted shopping experiences. Our mission is to make shopping personal again for shoppers. We’re building for the day when every consumer buys their goods from the people they follow and trust, every product creator has powerful and relevant distribution and tastemakers are making money doing what they love to do.”
To seize this opportunity, OpenSky has brought together an all-star brand building, technology, engineering, supply chain and retail team. OpenSky is led by founder and CEO John Caplan, the former CEO of Ford Models and the former President of the About.com Network. Other OpenSky execs previously held management and leadership positions at such leading companies as Target, About.com, Gilt Group, Zappos, Bonobos, Meetup, KickApps, Portero, Ligit and Google.
To use the OpenSky Platform, both product creators and tastemakers apply and are connected into OpenSky’s marketplace of tastemakers and product creators. Through proprietary processes, OpenSky matches products to the most appropriate potential tastemakers. If the tastemaker loves a product, she becomes the seller and shares the product and her perspective with her audience. In turn, her consumer can conveniently purchase the product directly from the tastemaker, thereby completing the commerce loop.
By enabling the set of connections, the transaction and all supply chain logistics, OpenSky allows tastemakers to continue to do what they do best – build stronger relationships with their followers, fans and audiences. And by splitting profits equally with tastemakers on every item sold, OpenSky brings them material monetization that is far more lucrative than affiliate fees or the pennies provided by the advertising networks.