MADE.com has been gaining momentum as a brand that connects furniture designers with customers. InternetRetailing met chief executive Philippe Chainieux and chief financial officer Adrian Evans to find out more about its five-year strategic plan - and how it plans to invest £40m in funding.
MADE.com is planning fast international expansion over the next five years.
The business, which recently reported revenue of £127m, 40% up on the previous year, and £40m equity funding from investors including Partech Ventures, Level Equity and Eight Roads Ventures, a subsidiary of Fidelity, is set to expand its network of showrooms to seven countries, including four new markets The Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and Switzerland. Currently, Made.com has showrooms in London, Leeds, Birmingham, Leeds, Paris, and Berlin.
Each showroom is set to deliver a ’gallery experience’ feel and look. Consumers are able to use headphones listen to an audio-story or scan a QR code with their smartphones to discover how a designer made a product.
MADE.com’s customers have the power to decide themselves which product ought to appear in the showroom or the next collection by pledging a refundable deposit of between £10 to £30 for the furniture designs they like on TalentLab, a crowdsourcing platform for emerging designers. The compositions with the most pledges are listed on MADE.com’s website for customers to purchase.
So far, the brand has struck more than 100 collaborations with established and aspiring designers. The new objective is to raise this to 120 partnerships a year, as part of the five-year programme, which aims to enable upcoming designers to get a foothold in the industry and as chief executive Philippe Chainieux explained, "turn their ideas into a product."
The brand also plans to expand its ecommerce presence: it aims to see 200% of sales take place online by 2020, up from 100% at the moment. The target for five years is to grow online sales to a third of the overall business.
“We continue to scale rapidly across Europe, and I am pleased to confirm that Made.com has reached profitability in 2017 in the UK, France and Benelux, and is now cash flow positive at the group level," said Chainieux. "We have had a strong start to 2018 and are very excited about the future.
"The funds raised will facilitate faster growth in existing and new markets across Europe. While Made continues to evolve, it remains at heart a design brand, committed to creating beautiful products for the home which are affordable and unique.”
Images courtesy of Made.com