Beyond the Rack co-founders Yona Shtern and Robert Gold were interviewed today in the Montreal Gazette on the eve of their appearance at StartupCamp Montreal.
For those unfamiliar with Beyond the Rack, it’s a Montreal-based buying club that offers wares such as clothing, housewares, electronics and more. Beyond the Rack offers items like these at a discounted price, and as the Gazette reports, consumers are catching on:
A year ago, few knew anything about a small startup called Beyond the Rack Inc., which had 50 employees, and 500,000 online members.
Today, the company has 240 employees, (20 of which are in its New York City offices), nearly 3 million members and revenue projected at more than $50 million for fiscal year 2010. Revenue has increased 12-fold from last year and is expected to double or triple in 2011, the first year the company is expected to turn a profit. The company has also raised $16.5 million from angel investors and venture-capital firms in two rounds of funding.
Launched in March 2009, Beyond the Rack is a private online shopping club where members get exclusive sales. The site began by offering only high-end clothing and expanded to other items such as household goods and electronics. The company says it is now the largest private online buying club in a market that has seen tremendous growth since the 2008 the recession began.
"It really is a hypergrowth," said Robert Gold, the company's co-CEO and co-founder. "Some companies can grow 30 per cent in a year, and that is tremendous; We did that in the month of November. We actually had one week where we hired 35 new people."
In the interview, Shtern, Gold and others offer insight into the problems and opportunities facing Montreal’s startup community and entrepreneurship in general. It’s a fascinating read.
And just for the record, Techvibes commander-in-chief Rob Lewis beat the Gazette to the punch when he named them to his 2011 People to Watch in Quebec list two weeks ago. Looks like the Rob Lewis bump has taken Shtern and Gold to new heights.
Or maybe they’re just great entrepreneurs with a great idea, work ethic and plan. Who’s to say?