SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Minted, the curated marketplace that connects consumers with the world's best designers, is building on the success of its stationery and art businesses and today announcing its expansion into textiles and a new storefront model. To support the growth of the business, Minted has raised $38 million in a round led by Norwest Venture Partners, with participation by Technology Crossover Ventures.
Beginning today, Minted customers will have access to custom designed fabrics, curated from over 1,400 submissions by independent artists around the world, from Cape Town, South Africa to Milford, Michigan. As with stationery and art, submitted designs are critiqued and improved upon by Minted's active community of artists, and winners are selected through crowdsourcing and analytics. The curated selection is then sold with Minted managing all aspects of the business operations, from world-class manufacturing and on-demand fulfillment to shipping and customer service.
"We are building on our heritage of gathering the finest artists in the world and identifying the best products to help them monetize their work," says company founder and CEO Mariam Naficy. "We are enabling an untapped population of creative geniuses, while at the same time satisfying a massive consumer demand for unique products."
For the first time, Minted is also activating a new storefront model to give thousands of artists and designers the opportunity to run their own businesses through Minted's manufacturing and customer service platform. To date, Minted's offerings have been curated solely through competitions. Now, artists and designers who have won Minted design competitions and gained a reputation for high quality design, will be invited to open stores on the platform to launch new art or textile designs on an ongoing basis.
"Minted is completely disrupting the traditional marketplace model by using the power of crowdsourcing to curate every product sold, and giving consumers what they want most: hyper-custom, high quality goods," said Jeff Crowe, Managing Partner, Norwest Venture Partners. "Minted is activating a distributed global work force. This business without borders is very clearly the marketplace model that will win."
Since 2007, Minted has hosted design and artwork competitions monthly from over 6,000 artists, photographers and designers contributing from over 40 countries around the world. Minted products have reached over 40 million households globally, maintaining the highest quality of product and experience through curation and crowdsourcing.
Toby Lenk, an e-commerce veteran with over 18 years of experience building successful companies, including founding eToys and Gamefly, and who served as President of Gap, Inc. Direct from 2003-2013 has joined Minted's Board of Directors. His in-depth knowledge of global online retail strategies will be highly valuable to Minted as they continue to focus on vertical category growth.
"In order for retail models to achieve continued success, businesses must evolve at a pace faster than what consumers demand, to deliver the best set of products and experiences at every touch point," said Lenk. "Minted has perfected its crowdsourced curation process to successfully drive the best ideas to the top. This positions the company to continue its impressive track record and growth."
Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, Minted is a design marketplace that connects you to the world's best independent artists to create something one-of-a-kind. The company's art, stationery, and textiles products have reached over 40 million homes worldwide. Minted is funded by Benchmark Capital, IDG Ventures, Menlo Ventures, Technology Crossover Ventures, and Norwest Venture Partners, along with angels Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo!, Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO of Yelp, and Yishan Wong, CEO of Reddit.