The company has surpassed $100 million in gross merchandise volume in 2020 with growth accelerating into 2021. The company also saw a record year of giving raising $600,000 for nonprofits since inception.
Selling Top Brands
Launched in 2011, GovX is the largest privately operated e-commerce sales channel serving verified U.S. military and government employees.
The company sells primarily performance gear ranging from athletic gear to sunglasses with discounts ranging between 20 percent to 70 percent off standard retail prices. It also sells discounted tickets to sporting events, live theater and theme parks.
“We have developed a proprietary system for verification,” said Cole. “When members verify through GovX ID, they get access to a catalog with unbeatable prices on the best brands.”
To date, more than 100,000 products are sold on GovX’s website. Recognizable brands include Oakley, Under Armour, Reef, Vuori, HYLETE, and the San Diego Padres, as well as thousands of other national and global brands.
“What I get most excited about is that we get to surface all these unique smaller brands that most people have never heard of,” said Cole. “It’s a special win for us when we can help a veteran-owned brand accelerate their growth by spotlighting them on our platform.”
The company’s average member is a 25- to 35-year-old male who enjoys exercise. Over 80 percent of GovX’s new members are acquired through organic and referral (word of mouth) channels.
Cole said the platform knows the branches and affiliations of its members, is knowledgeable about the clientele’s browsing behavior, and has a specific knowledge of what members are interested in.
GovX has faced growing competition from other tactical gear sites as well as Amazon. A key difference to its competitors is that GovX requires a membership. GovX prides itself on offering affordable prices and providing an authentic experience, said Cole.
GovX was founded by local executives Tony Farwell, Marc Van Buskirk and Shannon Van Buskirk. Cole was appointed CEO in late 2016, and is responsible for increasing the company’s headcount and revenues over the last five years.
In total, the company has raised $28 million from investors, primarily from Alestra Ltd. and Arbor Group.
Cole expects the demand for online marketplaces including GovX will continue to grow well beyond 2022. GovX also provides support to Veterans Village of San Diego to aid in their mission to overcome veteran homelessness.
“We will continue to focus on the bottom line and expand our profit margin in the coming years. We have our heads down building the business and our investors want us to invest in growth,” said Cole. “Looking ahead, we know there will be significant outcome for us down the road.”