SkyBuys announced that it has received venture funding from the Gandel Invest family office (Gandel Invest) to develop its online duty free and travel retail platform and app. The funds, raised through SkyBuys parent entity Open Commerce Network Pty Ltd (OCN), will be used to advance key strategic partnerships, and will also allow SkyBuys to engage with duty free retailers and airlines as international airline travel restarts.
SkyBuys CEO Alec Kemmery said he was delighted to welcome the Gandel Invest family office as a foundation investor: “Gandel Invest’s support allows us to position SkyBuys as the must have travel retail accessory at a time when we are all starting to think again about travelling internationally.”
Gandel Invest, led by Tony and Adam Gandel, will provide SkyBuys with established expertise and knowledge in marketplaces and the retail sector at a critical time when international borders around the world begin to open.
The investment by Gandel Invest follows commitments from duty free operators Lagardère Travel Retail and Heinemann to offer their duty free and travel retail inventory to passengers through SkyBuys, with trial projects already underway in Sydney and planned for Auckland. The investment also coincides with the appointment of key individuals to the OCN board including Philip Corne, ex-Chief Executive Officer Louis Vuitton Oceania, and Glyn Williams, ex-General Manager of Retail at Sydney Airport, along with Georg Hinterleitner, ex-Moët Hennessy Director of Global Travel Retail (Australia & New Zealand), overseeing programs with SkyBuys’ global brand partners.
With the SkyBuys app, airline passengers can shop online for duty free and travel retail and then collect their purchases with contactless transactions and payments, and without the usual queues. As international travel returns in 2022, SkyBuys will initially service international passengers in Australia and New Zealand, commencing at Sydney Airport, one of the world’s leading airport retail precincts, and Auckland Airport, New Zealand’s major travel gateway.