INNOVATION IN ACTION AT SIMON
J. Skyler Fernandes
Founder of SVG. Sky leads the investment team in making investments that are strategic to Simon and its retailers, and innovates the retail industry as a whole by identifying key strategic ecosystems across the portfolio.
Sky also leads the strategic support team to help SVG's portfolio companies succeed.
STRATEGIC SUPPORT TEAM
SVP, Retailer Marketing
Head of Omni-Channel Retailing
AVP, Innovation & Customer Intelligence
Senior Director of Innovation & Customer Intelligence
AVP, National Retailer Marketing
Nov 20th, 2015
On-demand fashion startup Le Tote raised $15 million in Series B funding Thursday to accelerate the growth of its Netflix-style clothing service. Le Tote is on track to deliver more than two million items to customers and increase revenue 500 percent year-over-year. The company is also prepared to quadruple its workforce.
AITV led the round with participation of Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Azure Capital, Simon Venture Group, Epic Ventures and Funders Club. The Y Combinator-backed company has raised $22.55 million to date from investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures and Arsenal Venture Partners
Read More - Silicon Valley Business Journal
Also, article in Fortune: Le Tote Bags $15 Million for its Netflix-Style Clothing Service. Read More.
Oct 14, 2015
FabFitFun, a quarterly subscription box for women that includes 8-10+ full size products across categories of fashion, health, and entertainment. Each box is $50, and retail for $200+ in value.
Simon Venture Group will be speaking at the upcoming events
Panel: Ellie Wheeler @ Greycroft, Taylor Greene @ Lerer Hippeau Ventures, J. Skyler Fernandes @ Simon Venture Group, Frank Fazzinga, @ Grace Beauty Capital
Oct 28th: Tech Talk: The Power of Vertical Integration
Panel: J. Skyler Fernandes @ Simon Venture Group (Moderator), VP of Merchandising @ BaubleBar, CEO @ Casper, SVP @ NineWestGroup
Aug 25, 2015
Forbes covered Simon Venture Group's investment approach about thinking in ecosystems, where multiple portfolio companies play in a similar space to create the future of retail.
Aug 10th, 2015
Simon Venture Group is excited to announce its first hire, Natalie Hwang, who recently joined the investment team as Principal. Natalie brings investing experience as an angel investor in the retail space and was previous a Vice President at Blackstone where she was involved with the firm's seeding platform for investing in early stage alternative asset businesses.
The process: We reviewed 546+ applications, narrowed it down to 88 candidates and sent them 10 questions to answer. We then did 20 phone interviews, and then narrowed it down to 8 in-person interviews. After that, we arrived at Natalie! We're exciting to have Natalie on the team, just in time as we start making follow-on investments and are continuing to grow the portfolio. Hey, we just doubled the size of our team! We're now a two person army!
A Light Bulb Goes On, Over the Mall. Sensity Closes $36M with Cisco, GE, Simon, Acquity.
July 20th, 2015
NY Times featured our newest portfolio company, Sensity, offering an internet-of-things network over lighting infrastructure, where multiple sensors and app can be deployed. Sensity closed $36M, led by Cisco, GE, Acuity (largest LED fixture company), and Simon Venture Group.
“Sensity becomes the foundational platform across Simon’s properties, and you can overlay that with beacon ad networks, parking tech, security tech and other types of data analytics,” said Sky Fernandes, who oversees Simon Venture Group, the company’s investment arm. “You’re able to follow and engage the user from beginning to end, which is pretty neat.”
July 20th, 2015
Simon Venture Group led SmarterHQ's $8M round, co-investing with Battery Ventures, and angels such as Scott Booth.
“We launched Simon Venture Group last year with the goal of investing in innovations that benefit our retailers in multiple ways,” said J.Skyler Fernandes, Managing Director of Simon Venture Group.
“SmarterHQ is applying technology to improve the omni-channel marketing efforts of our retailers through their real-time predictive modeling, specifically personalization and optimization. They’ve had outstanding results with their current client base showing impressive ROI and we think there is significant untapped opportunity within our space as well.”
June 24, 2015
Congrats to Simon Launch Class 1 Winners:
SKU IQ: A technology that syncs real-time inventory across in-store point of sale systems, warehouse management systems, and e-commerce platforms and marketplaces.
Applications are now being accepted for Simon Launch Class 2: Apply Now. Win an investment from Simon Venture Group and Plug & Play Ventures, free office space, auto-accepted into Plug & Play's Retail Accelerator 12 week program, and mentorship from top investors and retail industry experts. Companies will also be eligible for follow-on investments.
June 17th, 2015
J. Skyler Fernandes, Managing Director of Simon Venture Group, will be giving the keynote at Wharton Alumni Angel Network, to discuss insights on the innovations happening within physical brick and mortar retail (represents ~90% of retail sales) and ecommerce (~10% of retail sales), and how they are converging together into an omni-channel. The talk with also cover the new rise of corporate venture, what role it plays within the VC capital ecosystem, and how angel investors can engage with corporate VCs to find and help their portfolio companies. Register Here
May 19th, 2015
Watch the ICSC: Recon Live Interview with J. Skyler Fernandes, Managing Director of Simon Venture Group, discussing the future of retail. RECon 2015, the world’s largest conference for the retail real estate industry, held in Las Vegas May 17th-20th in Las Vegas.
May, 18, 2015
Here are three technologies still in the development phase that hold potential to radically disrupt retail, and even life as we know it, in the next 10 years: Quantum Computing, Self-driving Vehicles, Universal Internet. Read More.
Twitter Ventures Backs Beacon Ad Network Startup Swirl in $18M Round, Along With Simon Venture Group, Softbank, Hearst Ventures, and RetailMeNot
March, 13th, 2015
Top 10 Retail Tech Finalists Announced for SXSW Future of Retail Startup Competition.
Finalists: Alive Shoes, BlueFox, Mack, MemoMi, Pixlee, Trendalytics, Trustev, Tulip Retail, Two Tap, Xyze
$5,000 Judged Vote Winner: Trustev
$1,000 Audience Vote Winner: Pixlee
Jonathan Shieber, Editor at TechCrunch
Josh Goldman, Norwest Venture Partners
J. Skyler Fernandes, Managing Director, Simon Venture Group
Christa Allen, AVP, Consumer Branding and Events, Simon
FashionTech HQ: Read More.
Press Release: Read More.
WWD Article: Read More.
Feb 5, 2015
Le Tote, the “Netflix for clothing” startup that rents out apparel and accessories for women to wear and return, has snapped up a hearty new Series A funding round worth $8.8 million led by Azure Capital Partners, and included Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Simon Venture Group, AITV, Epic Ventures, Arsenal Venture Partners and Funders Club. Le Tote had taken seed funding from 500 startups, Ycombinator, Sherpa Ventures, Google Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Joanne Wilson, and Lerer Hippeau Ventures. Read more.
Jan 28, 2015
On International Women's Day Simon Venture Group, along with Intel, will be receiving the Global Corporate Leadership Award for investing in top female founders who are building the future of retail. The event will be held at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Press Release. Register for Event.
Oct 21st, 2014
According to Sky, the future of retail is in the convergence between in-store retail and e-commerce. He gave several examples of trends demonstrating the growth of omni-channel retailing, and the startups and established companies that are leading those trends. Read More.
Sept 27th, 2014
South Korean wireless company SK Telecom Co. said it agreed to acquire U.S.-based shopping-loyalty app Shopkick Inc. The acquisition would give SK Telecom, which operates primarily out of its home country, a new foray into the U.S. and provide it with new data tied to mobile phones. Read More.
Sept 25, 2014
Simon Venture Group, in collaboration with Plug and Play, a global investor and technology accelerator that specializes in growing tech startups, Simon is looking to take a leading role in retail IT. Read More
Sept 23, 2014
J. Skyler Fernandes, Managing Director of Simon Venture Group, “If you focus only on what’s directly strategic you’ll become closer to an R&D group or pure business development group, which is too niche focused and only looking at the next 1yr of operations, it doesn’t usually produce real innovation (which takes longer). If you focus on what’s indirectly strategic now, it could become very strategic in the future as markets evolve. That’s often where the “real” innovation happens.” Read More.
Sept 18, 2014
Simon Launch is a retail startup competition aimed at discovering, investing in, and accelerating the top startups in the retail industry. Simon will be co-investing in the competition's winners through its recently formed venture capital arm, Simon Venture Group, in collaboration with Plug and Play. Simon will also become an Anchor Member of Plug and Play's Retail Accelerator program. Read More.
Sept 18, 2014
“The convergence of online and in-store technology is transforming the retail industry, and represents a tremendous opportunity for innovation,” says J. Skyler Fernandes, Managing Director of Simon Venture Group. “We are delighted to join them on this journey and can’t wait to see them innovate across retail, from warehouses to storefronts.” Read More
Venture Beat Article: Augmate raises $2.8M to put smart eyewear in the enterprise
Cute tablets for kids: That's the deceptively simple concept behind the Nabi, the high-tech toy that's made Fuhu Inc.'s fastest-growing company two years in a row. Nabi 3yr Growth = 158,957%. See Fuhu Nabi's Inc Profile for 2014
Additional Inc. Articles:
Aug 11, 2014
SeedInvest sits down with J. Skyler Fernandes, Managing Director of Simon Venture Group to gain insights on startup investing best practices. Read More. Video #1: VC Investing 101. Video #2: Intro to Simon Venture Group and Best Practices of Corporate VC.
Aug 9, 2014
"While Simon is seeking the outsized returns earned by other venture capital funds, “the ultimate mandate for Simon Venture Group is to improve the shopping experience,” Fernandes said. “Beyond that, it’s really being able to take a leadership role in the evolution of the retail space. Given Simon’s large presence of malls, we are a very valuable strategic investor for up-and-coming technologies and brands.” Read More
Aug 8, 2014
Fernandes said he is interested in seeing new ideas emerge in e-commerce, particularly on the supply side in contrast to demand-side platforms such as Amazon.com. “We’ve had the growth of Amazon and PayPal, but there hasn’t really been any other really big multi-billion dollar companies that’ve come up,” he said. Read More
July 16, 2014
What happens when you combine some of the largest and glitziest shopping malls in America – places like Copley Place in Boston, the Houston Galleria, the Stanford Shopping Center, the Westchester, and Tanger Outlet Centers – with tens of millions in investment capital in early stage digital shopping ventures? Read More.
March 20, 2014
Simon Property Group, Inc. (NYSE:SPG), a global leader in retail real estate, announced today the launch of a new, dedicated Simon Venture Group. This new business will invest in retail innovation, focusing on opportunities that enhance the shopping experience. Read More.
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Simon Innovation Group
Simon Innovation Group centralizes all innovation happening across Simon from partnerships, investments, R&D, omni-channel retailing, and sustainability.