Online Retailer GovX Raises $11.5M to Expand Member-Only Services

San Diego-based GovX, an e-commerce retailer that operates like an online military base exchange for qualified U.S. Armed Forces, law enforcement, and public safety personnel, said it has raised $11.5 million from investors to expand its exclusive array of discounted products and services.

Two existing shareholders, Alestra Ltd. and Arbor Group, led the round, which was joined by principals from Star Avenue Capital, Seth Hamot, chairman of SPY Optic and a principal at Roark, Rearden & Hamot Capital Management, and Phil McConkey, the former NFL player whose financial services firm, San Diego-based Academy Securities, managed the financing.

In a recent statement, GovX also named two new board members: David Alberga, the former CEO and chairman of The Active Network; and Thomas Davin, CEO of 5.11 Tactical, the Costa Mesa, CA-based provider of clothing, boots, and gear for law enforcement use.

GovX, founded in 2011, grew out of the experience that Marc Van Buskirk and his wife Shannon had operating an e-commerce site for Oakley, the Orange County maker of sunglasses, goggles, and other sporting accessories. Their website, US Standard Issue, sold Oakley products direct to military and government personnel at a discount.

After the Italian eyewear maker Luxottica acquired Oakley for $2.1 billion in 2007, the Van Buskirks started over, with the idea of offering thousands of premium brand products through an online marketplace operating exclusively for active duty, reserve, and retired U.S. military personnel, and government public safety workers.

GovX logoThe Van Buskirks founded GovX in late 2011 with their friend Tony Farwell, a financial expert with expertise in corporate governance and shareholder communications. The company wraps its lifestyle marketing with patriotic zeal, emphasizing that the men and women who serve and protect “deserve extra online savings,” and partnering with various military service associations.

GovX says it developed technology to verify members’ service records, and now has nearly two million active members. The company says it offers nearly 100,000 products from over 500 premium brands.

GovX also operates a ticketing platform for more than 65,000 events, including major professional sporting events, select college sports, auto racing and other events and concerts.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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