Germany’s largest private sales fashion shopping club has just been acquired by eBay for a whopping $200 million (€150 million). Although eBay’s acquisitions have almost stalled since the failed take-over of Skype, this strategic transaction makes sense.
brands4friends, founded in 2007, has seen strong growth over the past few years and has operations in multiple European countries. Mangrove Capital Partners and Partech are among the investors and its Berlin office employees around 200 people. The purchase also includes shares in brands4friends partner companies SecretSales.com and brands4friends.jp
The transaction was a cash-only one and the exit looks to be a pretty good one for both founders and investors. Among the earliest investors of brands4friends had also been several German angel investors such as Lukasz Gadowski and Kolja Hebenstreit of Team Europe Ventures and institutional investors such as Holtzbrinck Ventures. The former sold their shares to Tengelmann E-Commerce in February 2010, which may have been a little early.
In contrast to Mangrove and Partech, who have invested at a later stage, Holtzbrinck Ventures and Team Europe had been founding investors.
The company also attracted some well-known employees, such as Olivier Schuepbach, a former Wellington Partners VC who has been appointed Head of Corp Dev in February 2010 and has currently around 3.5 million users and more than 600 fashion brands among its inventory.