NEW YORK, Dec. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- V&M (www.VandM.com), the world's most distinct, curated marketplace of unique design goods, announced today that they have received multi-million dollar venture "seed" round funding, and completed a merger with one of Europe's leading online marketplace for 20th Century vintage modern design, Deconet (www.Deconet.com), forming a newly established global holding company, Global Design Partners LLC.
Combined, the expanded V&M will become one of the largest sources of one-of-a-kind design in the world with over 30,000 distinctive objects for sale from over 450 dealers in 25 countries. Total merchandise is valued at over $100 million and range from $75 for small collectibles to $2.25M for a hand-carved reproduction of a 26-foot Eli Wilner gilt frame at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with most goods between $250 and $5,000.
The newly-global V&M also expanded the firm's board to include seasoned internet and media veterans: Jonas Svensson, chairman and co-founder of Deconet, and co-founder of global interactive firm Razorfish; and Kevin Umeh, former CEO of Cint USA, maker of SaaS-based market research software, and Co-Founder of Macmillan Digital, Simon & Schuster's first online business. Jonas and Kevin will be joining R. Adam Smith, an experienced investor and board member in high-growth private brand, media, and luxury companies, and CEO of V&M; Richard Cooperstein, founder of L.A.-based private investment firm Media Investment Group, and a former senior executive at Facebook, Disney, and Viacom; and Louis Santor, a media and entertainment industry consultant and former senior executive managing L.A.-based New Regency Productions, a global independently-financed Hollywood movie production company.
Unlike V&M's competitors in the burgeoning high-end antique and vintage segment, the majority of V&M's products today are already e-commerce enabled, primed to take advantage of the 62% forecasted rise in e-retail sales in the coming years (Forrester Research US Online Retail Forecast, 2011 to 2016).
"The companies perfectly complement each other adding more value than the sum of its parts," says Tobias Seo, CEO of Deconet. "Our capabilities will offer the global antiques, vintage, fine art, and design market unmatched resources, together with great style. The company will represent over 300,000 monthly visitors immediately with the anticipation of doubling in the coming months."
The new company's revenues are a mix of affordable upfront listing fees with commissions of 15% or higher, depending on merchandise type, lowering new vendor entry costs. Subsequently, V&M has been quick to pick up hundreds of new vendors across a broad array of categories, including vintage, jewelry, photography, textiles, and artisan craft.
V&M will be based in New York with offices and representation in Los Angeles, London, Buenos Aires, as well as Stockholm, where Deconet's existing multi-functional team manages customers in seven languages, further reinforcing category leadership in the European market.
"Our acquisition will provide tremendous fuel to our future global expansion plans," stated Bill Indursky, V&M Founder, "Our client base consisting of savvy consumers and interior designers will be happy to see the widest range of pricing and selection of vintage merchandise in the industry."
"I am tremendously pleased with the progress of V&M since our initial investment in December 2010," adds R. Adam Smith, CEO of V&M and chairman of Global Design Partners LLC, "We look forward to the accelerated growth of premiere sources of merchandise, featured content, and editorial. The combination of our high quality traffic and marketing synergies should greatly increase the sell-through and revenues for our platform, and our valued vendor-base."
In the coming weeks, shoppers at www.VandM.com and www.Deconet.com will begin to see site design changes that will unify the companies within the V&M family, as well as have the ability to shop their combined inventory of antiques, vintage, and contemporary design.
V&M's completion of its significant seed round marks the beginning of fundraising for an expanded Series A for the company.
ABOUT V&M (VINTAGE AND MODERN)
V&M (Vintage and Modern, www.VandM.com), founded in 2006, is the leading curated marketplace for vintage furniture, antiques, art, photography, jewelry and design from around the world. Dedicated to offering its millions of visitors a high quality and unique shopping experience, V&M gives the trade and savvy public insider access to some of the best shopping on the web. V&M has been called "The best vintage shopping on the web" by the Los Angeles Times, "A must place to shop" by Vogue, "A Dream Source" by Apartment Therapy, "It's a Brimfield Antique Show for the web-savvy set" by Departures, and has been seen in Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.
Founded in 2008, Deconet (www.Deconet.com) is Europe's leading online marketplace for 20th century vintage modern design; bringing dealers, auctioneers, and private sellers from over 25 different countries together in a multi-faceted e-commerce platform. Featuring thousands of unique furniture, lighting, carpet, storage, and ceramic pieces, Deconet has developed a significant global following by sophisticated clients. Deconet´s mission is to connect buyers and sellers online, by offering key services that simplify online purchases, and enable powerful commerce for sellers.