North American luxury-fashion distributor MadaLuxe Group is branching out by helping high-potential startups through a new investment division called SLS Journey, with the first funds going toward the Psykhe app.
Madaluxe co-founder Sandy Sholl leads the investment arm, which plans to make seed investments in emerging companies at the intersection of wellness, beauty, fashion and technology that align with the luxury group’s vision for the premium sector.
“As MadaLuxe Group continues to grow, we have identified companies with powerful and innovative technologies that have the ability to profoundly change their industries,” Sholl said in a statement. “Because of the current disruptions in the market, many of these companies aren’t getting the attention they deserve. We see this as a tremendous opportunity and have decided to launch an investment arm of our business to ensure that high-potential startups have the resources and guidance they need to grow and succeed.”
Psykhe, the e-commerce recommendation platform startup that landed SLS’s first investment, combines psychology and AI with luxury fashion to personalize the purchasing experience. In addition to SLS’s role as the lead seed investor, founding investor Carmen Busquets, an entrepreneur whose previous investments include Net-a-Porter, Lyst, Moda Operandi and Farfetch, also participated.
Founded by fashion and neuropsychology expert Anabel Maldonado, Psykhe uses a consumer’s score on the Big Five personality test to pull product from brands and retailers into a personalized feed that correlates with style preferences for that particular test result.
MadaLuxe operates three stores called MadaLuxe Vault, making it the only off-price, luxury-exclusive, multi-brand format in a boutique setting.
Sholl co-founded MadaLuxe in 1990 with her son and CEO, Adam Freede. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the company said e-commerce has experienced a 500 percent growth rate.