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Online retailer is planning for global growth after winning investment worth $9m (£5.92m) from European venture capital firm Balderton Capital.

The retailer, which specialises in accessible luxury designer fashion, will use the money, its first institutional investment, to grow by adding new premium brands to its range while also improving its product offer, customer experience and international marketing.

Currently 800,000 a month – 110% more than at the same time last year – visit the website, which stocks more than 180 brands including Polo Ralph Lauren, D&G, Anya Hindmarch and Mulberry. The retailer won the Best Customer Experience award at the Drapers Etail Awards 2010.

Sarah Curran, founder and chief executive, said: “We have extremely ambitious expectations for and this investment will allow us to improve our portfolio of designer brands and product categories, improving the overall customer experience.

“Through investment in both offline and online marketing channels, we plan to accelerate the global expansion of the business over the next five years.”

Dharmash Mistry, partner at Balderton Capital, will join the board as part of the deal. Mistry said had a strong brand as a leading retailer in its sector. He added: “Sarah is backed by a board that features a number of retail specialists and we look forward to working with her as she builds the business further into overseas markets and leads her team through the next stage of the company’s development.”

Balderton’s prior investments include Bebo, Betfair and LOVEFILM, while before joining Balderton, Mistry was previously managing director at Emap Consumer Media and Emap Performance.

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