Private shopping website SecretSales.com has won £6.3m in investment that it will use in its mission to “dominate” the UK private sales market.
The new funding comes from a syndicate of investors led by Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures, Pentech Ventures and OCP Innovation, managed by Partech Ventures. It will be spent on expansion in the UK, particularly in the areas of sourcing, marketing and technology.
SecretSales was launched in 2007. Today it has almost two million engaged members in the UK, employs more than 50 staff in its Notting Hill, London headquarters and is used by more than 650 fashion, homewares and travel brands to sell their excess stock through short online sales.
Chief executive Nish Kukadia said the funding was “a great endorsement of our vision and growth prospects.” He added: “With tremendous year-on-year growth, at SecretSales we quietly pride ourselves on being a genuinely relevant, long-term partner for brands and great consumer business. We are excited to work alongside a diverse blend of seasoned investors to realise our strategic growth plan, each bringing qualified experience ranging from ecommerce, technology, marketing and branding, as well as a deep global network of contacts.”
Ivan Farneti, partner at Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures, said: “The private sales club model has created some amazing companies in continental Europe and in the US, but the UK is still an opportunity. We believe the team at SecretSales has done a great job so far with limited resources. We have now provided a solid financial platform to allow SecretSales to dominate this fast-growing market.”
Craig Anderson, partner at Pentech Ventures, said: “The performance and growth of SecretSales since its creation less than five years ago has been very impressive and we believe it is poised to benefit significantly from the rapid growth in the online private sales club market in the UK.”
The funding will see Kukadia and buying director Sach Kukadia joined on the board by new executive chairman Sergio Dias, who was previously chief executive of leading German private shopping club brands4friends.de. Pentech’s Anderson, Doughty Hanson’s Farneti and Andreas Schlenker of Partech also have seats on the board. Co-founders Michael Cody and Silvia Cody are stepping back from active roles in the company but will remain shareholders.
Dias said: “I am delighted to join forces with such an incredible team of experienced investors and dynamic and focused management.”