Zalando, The Samwer Zappos Clone, Closes Another Round, Adds JP Morgan, Quadrant Capital As Backers

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Zalando, the shoe and fashion e-commerce site originally started as a clone of Zappos by the Samwer brothers, is gearing up for another phase of growth. The company today announced that it has closed another round of funding, adding J.P. Morgan Asset Management and Quadrant Capital Advisors as its newest backers.

As with past rounds of financing — and as with many other Samwer investments — exact financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a Zalando spokesperson says that now both J.P. Morgan and Quadrant now each own around 1% of the company. Zalando’s revenues in 2011 were €510 million ($626 million), but it has not disclosed any figures for 2012. We are trying to find out more detail and will update if we do.

Since first opening for business in 2008, Zalando has expanded from shoes to more general fashion — a trend we have seen with other shoe e-commerce startups in the U.S. such as JustFab and ShoeDazzle. The company is also extending its geographic footprint. From its origins in Germany, it is now live in 12 markets and is opening for business in Poland and Norway “soon.” It says it is also in the process of building a major logistics center in Erfurt, Germany — logistics being such a central part of any e-commerce operation.

International is definitely a focus for the Samwer-backed Zalando. “We’re pleased that we were able to secure such internationally established investors as J.P. Morgan Asset Management and Quadrant Capital Advisors. 2012 has been a very successful year for us so far. Together with our shareholders we want to continue along this path,” said Zalando Managing Director Rubin Ritter, in a statement.  “We will continue to invest in growth as well as building a solid company.”

J.P. Morgan notes that Zalando’s customer base — numbers not disclosed — was also part of the attraction. “The company has quickly established itself as a leading online fashion retailer in Europe. We are impressed with Zalando’s large, growing, and loyal customer base as well as the breadth of products offered on the company’s e-commerce platform,” Robert Cousin, Managing Director, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, said in a statement.

Other investors in Zalando include the Samwer brothers’ Rocket Internet (owning 44%), Holtzbrinck Ventures (13%), Tengelmann Ventures (8%), Investment AB Kinnevik (16%) and DST Global (9%).