‘Audition-led’ furniture brand Swoon Editions raises £4m Series A

Octopus and Index-backed investment to expand ‘new design every day’ online furniture business

Handmade online furniture brand Swoon Editions has closed a £4m Series A round led by existing investors Octopus Investments and Index Ventures, taking its total funding to date to £5.2m.

Established in March 2012 by Brian Harrison, ex-CEO of The Number UK, and Debbie Williamson, former Telegraph Media digital product developer, Swoon Editions offers a platform which connects consumers with furniture manufacturers and artisan makers across the world.

It develops prototype furniture designs based on trending styles and invites customers to vote on each of its pieces in a design ‘audition’. Those designs which receive the most votes are then produced and manufactured and made available to consumers in ‘limited edition’ numbers where they are then shipped directly to the customer’s home.

Over the past 12 months, the ‘new design every day’ furniture business says it has scaled “rapidly”; growing its team from three to 36 staff with a further 20 roles to be made available at its London head office, and its offices in Vietnam, India, and China.

It will use the investment, which builds on a £1.2m seed round backed by Octopus and Index last October, to grow its members and to increase its number of furniture designs launched each week.

Swoon Editions CEO and co-founder, Harrison, commented: “We believe people should be able to own beautiful furniture without paying six times what it costs to make. We cut out unnecessary retail overheads and gain further efficiencies by only producing pieces we know are in demand.

“In the past year we have tested every aspect of our business model, rapidly growing our base of suppliers, designers, customers and industry style watchers. We are delighted that this has inspired our original investors to provide additional capital to accelerate our growth.”

Simon Andrews, member of the ventures team at Octopus, added:

“Swoon Editions co-founders Harrison and Williamson have built a model that puts customers at the heart of their business. Critically they have done this with sound economic principles and are executing at pace. This additional investment will enable them to really kick on from the great year they have just had.”

 

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