Apparently, “there are only three areas in ecommerce to build billion dollar business: amazon, zappos and furniture”. That’s at least according to Oliver Samwer of clone factory Rocket Internet in Berlin.
Perhaps he right. Because now Made.com, a London based start-up that offers consumers designer furniture online at factory prices, has raised a £6 million series B funding to expand its brand in the UK and fuel international expansion. New York-based growth equity investor, Level Equity, led the funding round with additional investment from founding investors, PROfounders Capital.
Launched in April 2010, Made.com has 100,000 customers who slaver over the sights luxury designs. Made puts consumers directly in touch with producers, saving 50%-80% on price. In the two years since its launch, the Notting Hill-based site has worked with designers and artists like Damien Hirst, the Chapman Brothers, John Stephanidis, and Steuart Padwick.
The brainchild of serial entrepreneurs Ning Li and Brent Hoberman, the startup now claims 600% profitability and has grown from 3 to 45. Hoberman successfully floated travel business Lastminute.com in 2000
Ning Li says manufacturing is a commodity. “If someone wants to copy us there not much that can stop them, but we have acclimated a strong design community and a strong user database which gives us 18-20 months head start on a competitor. They’d need the same networks of designers and manufacturers. We connect all three with consumers.”