After investing some 15 million euros in France-based OneDirect a few weeks ago, Belgian VC fund Gimv has just announced that it is dropping 4.9 million euros on a Vente-Privée competitor called Private Outlet. This investments brings the company’s second round of funding to 9 million euros and should add a bit of monetary fuel to its international development.
Today, the company which refers to itself as Europe’s “private online shopping club” counts some 1.8 million members in 5 countries, including France, the UK, Spain, Italy and Germany. Like a majority of the other private sale sites out there, Private Outlet offers up to 70% discounts on fashion accessories and clothing from roughly 150 luxury brands (Christian Dior, D&G, Chanel, etc.). One aspect that distinguishes Private Outlet from some of its competitors is that passing internet users can see which products and brands are on sale without having to become members. But alas, in order to purchase anything from the site, you need to become a club member – obviously.
The 105 person team behind Private Outlet is split between Paris and Milan and raised a first round of funding, some 7.3 million euros, back in 2008. This first round included a rather international crowd of investors, including Munich-based BayTech Venture Capital, GP Bullhound and Kreos Capital – who is also behind hot French companies like Navx and Sequans. But even if Private Outlet has raised a whopping 16.3 million euros in 3 years (not peanuts for a France-based company), it still has a ways to go before catching up to competitor Showroomprive – Europe’s number 2 private sale site, which has 6 million members and just raised a 37 million euro round with big-timer VC fund Accel Partners.
Regardless, it seems that French private sale sites are still multiplying like flies and are rather eye catching for international investors.