Did someone declare that startups would have a hard time raising money? Not for some of them. Paris Based Inspirational Stores will announce tomorrow a 10 million euros series B round lead by Atlas Ventures and OTC asset Management. Inspirational Stores offers famous high-end brands without online retail activity a full turn-key solution to give them a second life on the web starting from web presence to full logistical and customer support service.
The company was created last year by the founders of PhotoWays.com, one of the largest online pictures retail service in Europe. Since its ignition in 2007 the company has convinced 12 brands among which La Durée, you are probably aware of if you passed by their famous shop on the Champs Elysées. The whole model is based on the fact that the brands or the products are already well known and those assets are strong and unique enough (think of the “art de vivre” kind of brands) to generate interest and purchase intention/conversion. Obviously this does not put aside the basic rules of ecommerce. This is where the expertise brought by Insipirational Stores adds value specially in online marketing and customer service.
On their site the company declares having raised a total of 13 million euros – 3 more than the current round previously raised in a series A. The founders own still a majority stake in the company: so the current valuation of the round is not that bad given the current “crisis” context.
This is probably the major round table made those past years in an ecommerce startup in France and maybe one of the most important in Europe. The company is currently based in France but the next step is to expand abroad, so expect an Inspirational Store “near” you soon.