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Alex Waislitz’s Thorney Investment Group leads $11 million raise for ecommerce site

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Collingwood supporter and investor Alex Waislitz has led an $11 million raise via his Thorney Investment Group into an ecommerce startup that’s pivoted from being a surfboard rental business to underpinning retailers such as Patagonia.

Five-year-old Awayco is a unified ecommerce solution that includes retail Point of Sale (POS), rental and appointments for retailers to offer new and second-hand products and services to buy, book and rent on any platform.

Thorney’s backing was supported by high-net-worth investors and will be used to scale the startup’s e-commerce applications and grow its local team.

Awayco has acquired veteran Sydney POS retailer Barcode Solutions, with its leader, Shanti Kumar, becoming CEO of POSConnex, Awayco’s e-commerce solution for retailers across websites, apps and marketplaces.

“By using customer data in a thoughtful way, retailers will not only be successful in building customer loyalty, they will be able to differentiate themselves from their competitors,” Kumar said.

Awayco founder Gideon Gut-Silverman subsequently went on to found the VC and advisory firm Happenco, but will continue to direct the company’s growth across both Awayco Enterprise and POSConnex.

He started Awayco in 2018 as a rental software business focused on the circular economy before changing strategy during the Covid pandemic.

“Through discussions with retailers we recognised that store closures were making consumers think differently about e-commerce. Having served the rental market, we saw that it wasn’t a big leap to offer a unified solution that addressed the bigger picture of what the modern consumer wants,” he said

“We learned it was important that our solution worked within a retailer’s existing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and POS system, so that our customers didn’t have to undertake massive capex before we showed value. We’re working with our  retailer customers to consolidate and manage inventory, aggregate data, and unify transactions across any platform and channel, so they can offer innovative experiences based on consumer demand, and we are hopeful that many more will benefit from Awayco’s tech.”

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Investor Alex Waislitz said: “Awayco has made very good progress as a business, building out its technology solution and winning business from quality retailers. This has given us the confidence to continue to support the company by leading its latest investment round.”



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