Growth In Online Luxury Marketplace Attracts Investment From Index Ventures, Spark Capital And Benchmark 1stdibs Expands Global Network of Dealers and Buyers; Builds Out Team With Former Execs from American Express, eBay, Gilt Groupe, MLB and Shutterfly

NEW YORK, Dec. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- 1stdibs, the world's largest online luxury marketplace for rare and desirable objects, announced today a new investment from Index Ventures and Spark Capital designed to fuel the company's international expansion, marketing and adoption of new technology.  With $60 million raised late last year from Benchmark, and $42 million in the current round, 1stdibs has received a combined $102 million in total investment providing a clear competitive advantage in a rapidly growing market.

Index Ventures General Partner Danny Rimer and Spark Capital General Partner Todd Dagres led the current Series B round investment and will join General Partner Matt Cohler of Benchmark– which invested in both rounds of funding -- on the 1stdibs Board of Directors.

All the items for sale on 1stdibs are sold through an exclusive network of the world's best dealers. These dealers specialize in the finest antiques and vintage design, estate jewelry, fine art, and vintage couture.  Carefully selected based on the top quality of their merchandise and the highest standards of business practices, this premier network of dealers provides affluent consumers and their designers with one online marketplace where they can confidently shop for the most unique and sought-after objects.

The company released the following figures today in demonstration of its growth over the last year:

  • The gross merchandise volume of goods reported sold by 1stdibs dealers will exceed $650 million in 2012, up 30% from $500 million last year.  
  • 1,700 dealers are on the 1stdibs platform today, up from 1,200 dealers one year ago. 
  • 3,000 rare and beautiful objects are now catalogued each week. 9,000 unique items are sold each month, up from 7,000 per month reported at the beginning of this year. 

"We're delighted to have reached several important new milestones, first and foremost attracting an all-star leadership and investment team," said David Rosenblatt who joined as CEO last November. "As the online luxury market quickly expands, our strong financial backing puts us in an ideal position to fulfill 1stdibs founder Michael Bruno's original dream of connecting the world's best dealers with consumers who are passionate about extraordinary and one-of-a-kind items."

According to a report on the digital luxury experience, released by McKinsey & Company on behalf of Altagamma, the Italian luxury goods association, 15% of total sales in the luxury goods industry are directly generated by digital media. In 2011, worldwide online sales of personal luxury goods reached 6.2 billion Euro (approximately $8 billion), growing 3 times faster than the total personal luxury goods market, and will reach 15 billion Euro (approx. $19.35 billion) in 2016.

"We have been closely following how 1stdibs has established itself as a trusted brand and the premiere marketplace for luxury goods," said Todd Dagres of Spark Capital, an investor in Twitter, Foursquare, and Tumblr. "By enabling vintage luxury dealers to transition from foot traffic to online sales without missing a step, 1stdibs is the hub that is serving the huge consumer demand for rare and collectable objects."

Over the last year, 1stdibs has also tripled its presence in Europe, fortifying its standing as the trusted source for collectors, interior designers and buyers from around the world. The acquisition of Online Galleries in September added over 200 leading UK dealers, and with the addition of dealers in Belgium, the Netherlands, and France – along with an additional 30 dealers in Italy and Spain scheduled to join in December – 1stdibs will have a dealer presence in nine countries and offer items for sale to a global buyer base of customers from over 190 countries.  

"Since the days of the Silk Road, the antiques business has been global long before it was fashionable," commented 1stdibs Founder and Chairman Michael Bruno. "Now thanks to the new investment and the highly skilled team David has assembled, we have an historic opportunity to leverage the Internet to facilitate the buying and selling of antiques like never before."

In addition, next month the company plans to unveil an innovative redesign of the site that will enhance the buying experience.

"We know luxury. We know marketplaces. And we know Europe," said Danny Rimer, of Index Partners, with investments in Etsy, Nasty Gal, and Far Fetch. "1stdibs is all of these things."

David Rosenblatt also announced that the company has completed its recruitment of a top leadership team including:  Allis Ghim, VP Global Sales and Dealer Operations, previously led eBay's APAC export business; Adam Karp, Chief Marketing Officer, formerly in senior roles at FreshDirect, Barnes & Noble, and, most recently, American Express; Ross Paul, Chief Technology Officer, previously VP of Engineering at MLB.com; Richard Pham, Chief Financial Officer, Former VP at Shutterfly; Xiaodi Zhang, formally Director of Buyer Experience at eBay and Senior Product Director at Gilt Groupe; and Carmine Bruno, (no relation to Michael Bruno) Managing Director of 1stdibs UK, Former Managing Director, Online Galleries Limited.

"By creating something that customers and dealers can't live without, the phenomenal team at 1stdibs has built the go-to destination for more than 1,700 leading dealers to connect consumers and designers across the globe with the most beautiful things on earth," said Matt Cohler, General Partner at Benchmark, which has invested in companies including Yelp, Zillow, OpenTable, and eBay. 

1stdibs was founded in 2001 by Michael Bruno who brought the Paris Flea Market online to American interior designers and is today the go-to source for the world's leading interior designers, celebrities, and affluent consumers to find antiques, design, estate jewelry, vintage couture, fine art and luxury properties. The company has headquarters in New York City, and an office in the United Kingdom. More information can be found at www.1stdibs.com.

Contacts:

Stacy McLaughlin, stacymclaughlin@1stdibs.com 212-627-2073


Marco Greenberg, marco@thunder11.com 212-362-1307

SOURCE 1stdibs



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