Boticca.com Secures £2.5 Million in Series A Financing

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World’s largest fashion accessories website plans to continue its international expansion.

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The company plans to use the funds to keep growing its team, further globalise by entering new markets and offering local language versions of its website and accelerate its marketing investment to keep building its customer database [of] 400,000.

Boticca.com, the largest fashion accessories-only focused website in the world, today announced the closing of £2.5 million in Series A financing from UK-based VC firm MMC Ventures and High Net Worth Individuals in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, including Turkish entrepreneur Sina Afra, CEO and Chairman of Markafoni and former European director of M&A for eBay. This marks Boticca’s second round of financing following a £1.5 million seed round in June 2011 led by French Internet entrepreneurs’ fund ISAI, who also contributed to this round.

Since launching in October 2010, Boticca.com has established itself as a pioneer and architect of a new kind of commerce where customers can connect with, and purchase directly, from professional small and medium brands all over the world. Boticca has sourced over 330 creative independent designers and emerging brands, and now offers more than 10,000 products from 40 countries around the world on every continent. Top brands on Boticca make annual sales in the hundreds of thousands of pounds. Eina Ahluwahlia, the founder of one of these top brands based in India, adds, “The kind of reach Boticca has brought us is unbelievable. The exposure we have experienced as a brand would never have been possible without them, and I really think the team has truly lived up to their motto of shining the torch on emerging designers and sharing them with the world”.

With this new round of financing, the company plans to use the funds to keep growing its team, further globalise by entering new markets and offering local language versions of its website and accelerate its marketing investment to keep building its customer database which now stands at over 400,000 users. MMC Ventures Partner Jon Coker says, “We are delighted to have invested in Boticca, we believe there is a huge opportunity for them in a fragmented market. We have been extremely impressed by Avid and Kiyan, their vision for the business and the culture they have built in the team and are very much looking forward to working with them.”

Since its first round of financing, Boticca.com has become profitable on customer acquisition on a first-sale basis, a rare feat in the world of e-commerce, with a lifetime value of over four times the amount spent to acquire each customer. Sales and traffic have shown 150% YoY growth without any significant increase in marketing spend, with 30% of sales coming from mobile traffic. “We’re very excited by this new round of investment which is a testament to the pioneering and sustainable business model the entire team has built these past 2.5 years. We look forward to working with our new investors to continue our international expansion and give independent brands the recognition and distribution they deserve,” says Kiyan Foroughi, co-founder and CEO.

With a strong focus on travel, discovery and bringing the shopping experiences of the world to customers in their homes, Boticca has been an international business from launch with 50% sales from Europe, 30% from North America and 20% from Asia Pacific and the Middle East. 55% of all transactions are intercontinental, with the designer on one continent and customer on another and last month alone, Boticca.com brands shipped their products to customers in 90 different countries. Boticca’s team of 20 employees in London is as culturally diverse as the website with 13 different nationalities represented and 14 languages spoken fluently.

Far from being a typical e-commerce company, Boticca.com is a curated marketplace with the highest standards of product selection, exciting web design and travel-infused editorials which bring out the individual stories of the designers and pieces featured. As a marketplace, the company benefits from advantages such as flexibility in product offering, no inventory or logistics commitment and proprietary merchandise, while its polished shopfront and editorial content creates a delightful environment akin to one of a highly curated fashion retail store. Avid Larizadeh, co-founder and COO, says “We're so proud that Boticca has become the world's luxury bazaar of fashion accessories - the go-to site for so many to shop, explore and meet designers from all cultures. We bring our customers on a journey across continents without leaving home, recapturing the lost commerce experience of the ancient Silk Road which connected adventurers with unfamiliar cultures through travel and trade. Our aim now is to expand so that we may connect even more people around the world with the best talent they otherwise would never discover.”

ENDS

About Boticca.com

Boticca.com is the world’s luxury bazaar of fashion accessories with more than 330 independent designers and emerging brands from 40 countries and over 10,000 pieces available to buy. The website was launched in London in October 2010 by Kiyan Foroughi and Avid Larizadeh. Boticca.com is a highly curated marketplace which takes customers on an inspiring journey across the world via its editorial content to celebrate the best fashion accessories brands and connect them with customers in over 90 countries, thus bypassing traditional retail channels and their heavy margins. Every week between two to three new accessories designers and brands are handpicked by Boticca’s globetrotting Style Hunters and launched on its website. Boticca.com brands already have an impressive celebrity following, including Cara Delevingne, Cameron Diaz, Eva Longoria, Rita Ora, Olivia Palermo, Pippa Middleton and many more.

About MMC Ventures

Founded in 2000, MMC Ventures is an active investor and award-winning venture fund manager, focused on technology-enabled sectors where the UK is a world leader - particularly financial and business services, business software, digital media and e-commerce. With over £100 million under management, MMC was rated as one of the most actives investors in 2012. MMC specialises in fast-growth early-stage businesses, partnering with entrepreneurs and impressive management teams to achieve substantial scale and profitability. MMC’s existing portfolio includes AlexandAlexa, Base79, Interactive Investor, Knowledge Mill, LoveHomeSwap, Reevoo, The Practice, NewVoiceMedia, Tyres on the Drive, Masabi, Consilium, Safeguard, Creativity, iJento, Neoss, Breathing Buildings, Small World and Somo.

About ISAI

ISAI was founded by Pierre Kosciusko-Morizet (PriceMinister), Geoffroy Roux de Bezieux (Virgin Mobile), Stéphane Treppoz (Sarenza) and Ouriel Ohayon (ex TechCrunch.fr) and it is managed by Jean-David Chamboredon, Christophe Raynaud and Pierre Martini. ISAI invests via 2 investment vehicles: one early-stage post-seed venture fund and one small cap Private Equity fund. Alongside the founders ISAI includes more than 80 individual investors in the ISAI funds, including founders, executives or former executives of 24h00, AuFeminin, Boursorama, Criteo, Empruntis, FastBooking, Google.fr, Kelkoo, Micromania, MisterGoodDeal, PhotoBox, PriceMinister, Sarenza, ScreenTonic, SeLoger, Twenga, Vente-Privée, VoyagerMoinsCher, Wanadoo, ISAI currently has 85 million euros under management and is an AMF authorized portfolio management company.

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Josi Smart
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