Luxury watch retailer Watchfinder raises $10m
Piton Capital and Beringea back fast-growing resale marketplace
Pre-owned luxury watch marketplace Watchfinder has raised $10m in a major investment round, backed by venture capital firms Piton Capital and Beringea.
Founded in 2002 by Stuart Hennell, Watchfinder operates an e-commerce store in which it sells refurbished timepieces from luxury brands such as Rolex, Breitling, Cartier and Patek Philippe.
The company operates an in-house servicing centre in Maidstone, in which it refurbishes and tests watches to manufacturers’ standards before selling.
Since foundation Watchfinder has grown into a market leader in pre-owned luxury watches in the UK, having sold more than £120m worth of products and with 4.4 million unique visitors a year.
The $10m (£6.18m) investment was funded 50/50 by Piton and Beringea (the investor managing the ProVen Venture Capital Trusts) and will be used to broaden the company’s inventory, provide liquidity for existing shareholders and fund a new multimedia marketing campaign.
Stuart Hennell, founder and chief executive of Watchfinder, said: “We at Watchfinder are very proud of the business we’ve created over the past decade, and the level of trust we’ve earned from our customers.
“After considering a number of strategic options for the future, we are delighted to be taking on investment from Beringea and Piton, with whom we have a shared vision for the future. Their combined expertise in ecommerce, retail, and international markets should be a great asset.”
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Karen McCormick, partner and investment director at Beringea, added: “Watchfinder has become the most trusted retailer for authentic, pre-owned luxury timepieces in the UK, and is uniquely able to offer manufacturer-quality servicing to back up their warranty.”